Macomb woman shares her story of beating brain cancer, support for Head for the Cure 5K

A Macomb woman beat the odds and overcame a frightening diagnosis - making a miraculous recovery. Now she's focused on providing support to cancer patients -- in need of someone to listen.

Janet Kanan's doctors call her a walking miracle - she doesn't take their words for granted.

"I have a purpose in life that’s why God spared me, that’s why I’m still standing," she said.

Back in 2010 the Macomb woman was diagnosed with brain cancer. The life expectancy with the disease is just one year.

"It was such a shock to have someone tell you, 'Hey you have a tumor and your only option is surgery,'" she said.

Kanan gathered all her strength and blew the life expectancy away. More than 10 years later she is healthy and busy.

Kanan is now a mentor with Imerman Angels, an organization that provides 1-on-1 support to cancer patients. So far she has been a listening resource for 16 people.

"I’ve walked a day in their shoes, I know what they’re going through," she said. "And so we can talk frankly. I had one of my mentees that lived in Pennsylvania who we talk to every day up until the day he died."

Every year Kanan also raises money for Head for the Cure. The 5k is organized by Henry Ford Health System and raises money for their Hermelin Brain Tumor Center in Detroit, where Kanan got her life-saving surgery from Doctor Steven Kalkanis.

"In this most surreal of times and in this Covid era, we have postponed and done things on Zoom, remotely," he said. "We’re hoping to come together and really bring our community together for an amazing cause."

Janet Kamen

Janet Kamen

Head for the Cure is on September 19th. all money raised will go towards supporting patients and research for advanced treatments. The institute's hope is to have countless more miracles for years to come.

"Our goal is that we are going to fill a room with hundreds and thousands of Jans in the future, that this won’t be such a rare event," Kalkanis said. "That we have a 10-year anniversary for a disease that has a one-year life expectancy. We want to make that the norm."

For more information on Head for the Cure CLICK HERE.