Cancer survivor kicks off breast cancer breakfast event as keynote speaker

A good breakfast for a good cause is a great way to start the day, united with people for one common goal: fighting breast cancer. 

Debra Yates was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2016. 

"I felt a lump and I went to the doctor, and when I got to the doctor she says we'll see you for a mammogram; went for mammo and before I could get home they were calling me telling me I need to talk to someone."

Fast forward to today, and she is the survivor speaker at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kickoff Breakfast.  

"It means a lot. I try not to get emotional because it was a tough fight, and to be here as a survivor I know what these women have gone through and I know the process and it's grueling and it's intense, so being here now as a survivor I'm able to smile and I'm able to be happy and I'm just able to enjoy the moment."

More than 400 people enjoyed the breakfast Wednesday in Southfield, including Amy Lange who served as emcee. It's all to get people fired up for the upcoming Making Strides Walk. 

"We will be walking out of Hart Plaza on Oct. 12," Carrie Franchi, the senior manager of community development at the American Cancer Society says. "There will be about 25,000 people who will meet with us and join us on a three mile walk."

Wednesday's breakfast theme focused on unity, uniting to raise funds for early detection, lifesaving research, and programs and services for those in need. 

"So it's just a great morning where people can remember those we have lost and also get charged up to fight because we aren't finished, and there's a lot more that we can do. So this will get people amped up and ready for that," Franchi added. 

The Strides Walk is special for survivors, being surrounded by people who know what you've been through. But survivor Debra has a message for us all. 

"Stop putting off stuff, that's one of the big things that I've learned. I don't put off anything anymore. If I decide I want to do something I go ahead and do it because I never know what the future holds," she said. 

Debra is hoping your future includes the Making Strides Walk on Saturday, Oct. 12. This will be FOX 2's 19th year of supporting the walk. We will be out there live and we want you to join us at Hart Plaza. You can get more information online here: