Trish Wyckoff is a big fan of The Black Keys and an avid gardener who always wears a smile.
She also happens to be a breast cancer survivor who started a long and winding road with the disease in 1996. Today, she is being treated for stage four breast cancer, refusing to give up.
“At my house, you better be laughing,” she said. “My house is filled with pictures of family and friends—we just have such a great time. Every minute I have is going to be spent making memories.”
Wyckoff, 53, of Forest Hills grew up in the same neighborhood. She has two children, a son, Jason and a daughter, Jessie, both in their 20s. She works for her husband, Steve, who is a lawyer with an office in downtown Pittsburgh. They’ve been together since 1977.
“He is the backbone of my support system,” she said. “He does the laundry, the shopping—he does it all.”
Wyckoff first connected with the in Regent Square when she was originally diagnosed. The organization is holding its annual Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day, May 13, at Schenley Park in Oakland.
Her daughter, who lives in Columbus, OH, has raised more than $5,000 total over the years during the Race for the Cure. She has her own team there called “Team Trish.”
After her first experience with breast cancer in 1996, Wyckoff was diagnosed again in 2002 with stage two breast cancer, undergoing a double mastectomy with reconstruction.
In 2011, she was again diagnosed, this time with stage four breast cancer that spread to the lung, lymph nodes, adrenal glands and bones in the leg. She’s undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in her current battle.
The journey has been filled with ups and downs, but friends and family have always been there for her.
“The important thing is not to think about yourself,” she said. “There are always people out there with bigger problems and bigger issues, so try to help those around you.”
She also keeps up with everything she loves in life.
“I love to cook and I love to garden. Music is my biggest therapy—just finding new songs and new artists brings me so much joy," she said.
Currently on her playlist—Jack White’s new music and "El Camino" by The Black Keys. Also, Neil Young is one of her all-time favorites.
Komen has provided Wyckoff with continued support over the course of her entire battle. She wants people to consider donating during a rocky time for the organization because in the end, the money goes to research.
“They’re only goal is to help people with breast cancer,” she said. “No one else dedicates that much money to try to find answers."
While she believes some people are born leaders, Wyckoff says she was born to be upbeat and positive.
“Stage four breast cancer should not be feared,” she said. “There is hope. I still have a lot of options available, just started a new treatment and will find out next month if it’s working. If not, there’s chemo and other options. Just keep going. Remember to enjoy every day.”
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