‘Hard to believe:’ Man reflects on breast cancer diagnosis at ‘More Than Pink Walk’

MILWAUKEE -- When someone is diagnosed with cancer, everything becomes harder -- not just for the person who is sick, but also for those around them. During the "Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk" on Sunday, Sept. 23, a man recently diagnosed with cancer shared how he's learning to overcome the adversity.

"I knew I was going to get some type of cancer, because it runs in your family," said Scott Tarkowski.

Scott Tarkowski

Tarkowski said he knows all about obstacles.

"I was in an auto accident. The next morning, I woke up and my chest swallowed up, and for about three to four hours I couldn't walk up or down stairs," said Tarkowski.

Soon, Tarkowski learned about a big obstacle that would define the rest of 2018.

Scott Tarkowski

"I went to the doctor right away. They did a biopsy. Biopsy came back and they said that I had breast cancer," said Tarkowski.

The Army veteran who faced his mortality in a doctor's office.

"I was angry. A little upset. It was hard to believe. Kind of backed up my whole year," said Tarkowski.

After several years of service in the Army, Tarkowski said he knew he could overcome anything with the right soldiers at his back.

"They supported me, and were very understanding," said Tarkowski.

He soon found a network of others going through what he was dealing with.

Scott Tarkowski

"Grant hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to help pay individual bills," said Nikki Panico with Susan G. Komen Wisconsin.

At the "More Than Pink Walk," Tarkowski pushed himself to be part of the crowd. For him, it was a new and unsettling experience.

"Being here, it's kind of like...strange," said Tarkowski.

Scott Tarkowski

He heard people talking about cancer that has taken the lives of loved ones.

"This is more than a job. This is a real passion, and this job helps me every day honor my mom," said Panico.

"My big thing is just thinking into it day by day," said Tarkowski.

He and others are working to overcome cancer, one step at a time.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Susan G. Komen Wisconsin, or to make a donation to support this cause.