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Survivor reflects on her breast cancer journey for National Grateful Patient Day

Sep 07, 2021

Denise Kranich Denise Kranich models a Nicole Miller gown at the Cure by Design fashion show, which features cancer survivors.

Throughout Denise Kranich’s career, she has seen her fair share of the great highs and lows of life. As a TV news reporter and host, Kranich covered stories and conducted countless interviews for programs like PM Magazine at WXEX-TV (now WRIC-TV) in the 1980s.

With so much experience racing to the scene of breaking news, Kranich knew how a day’s events could turn in a split second. The moment Kranich received her own bad news, however, left her in shock.

“It’s a terrifying thing to hear those words that you have cancer,” Kranich remembered. “2006 is when I got the diagnosis.”

Kranich learned she had Stage IIA breast cancer, and the lump in her breast had metastasized to a lump under her arm. She knew it was treatable but worried about her future. At the time, Kranich was the mother of a 14-year-old daughter.

“When you have a child that you want to see graduate and go to college and get married, to think that you might not be around for that, it’s terrible,” she reflected.

Kranich appreciated the support she received at VCU Massey Cancer Center while undergoing radiation treatments.

“Everybody here at Massey, they were just wonderful. It was a great experience here,” Kranich said. “It’s great to have people that are warm and that are telling you what’s really going on, explain what’s going to happen exactly from the beginning to the end because you’ve never had cancer treatments before. You don’t know.”

Kranich is sharing her story for National Grateful Patient Day, September 7, 2021. It is a time to acknowledge the commitment of health care workers while also honoring patients who are thankful to be alive.

“I feel so good now,” Kranich said. “I will be15 years cancer-free on September 18.”

Kranich, who has worked for several nonprofits since leaving the television industry, is now the first person her friends call if they find a lump. She is always ready to help in any way she can.

“You just need someone to be there for you,” Kranich said. “Then if you are diagnosed, you need to have a good attitude and to think positively. That’s the first advice I try to give everyone.”

Written by: Amy Lacey

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