In Search Of…Steppin’ Out in Pink Survivor Spotlight

Reported by Jennifer Livingston |










LA CROSSE, Wis. – Classic Rock 100.1 DJ Karen Williams is a familiar voice to many in the area. Karen’s energy and
spunk comes across loud and clear to her listeners but what you might be ‘surprised’ to hear is that this 40 something
is a breast cancer survivor. “I went in for my mammograms after putting it off and putting it off. My husband said,
‘look, this is in our insurance, go get your mammogram done.’ I got a phone call back from the lab saying that they
had spotted something and they wanted to do another mammogram just in case. And I remember going in to get my second
one and she had my x-ray on the light and I could see it.

A biopsy quickly followed with what originally was reassuring news. “That came back negative. But Dr. Landercasper
told me he said ‘I’d feel much better if we just took out that lump. So I went in and had a lumpectomy. It was the
day aftedr the surgery that Dr. Landercasper called me at work and he said, ‘This is Jeffery Landercasper.’ At first I
thought, ‘another Landercasper, how odd, my surgeons name is Landercasper.’ And then I went, ‘oh no, this is him.’ And
then, ‘Oh no, he’s calling me at work.’ And he said it’s cancer.'”

Cancer. No matter how common that diagnosis has become, you never think it’s going to happen to you. “The first
thing I did of course was I called my husband.”

“I was at work and I sat down and she started to cry and said she had cancer. I couldn’t believe it. It was almost
unreal. We won the lottery you don’t want to win.”

“Then I went to tell my boss Pat Smith because he had just been diagnosed with cancer himself.”

“I remember that day. My first reaction was…this just can’t be.”

“I remember his face and he stood up and we just hugged.”

Fortunately for Karen, the cancer had not yet spread to her lymph nodes. Reassuring news that as her doctor
explained, “he said, and I hung on to this for the rest of my treatment, ‘this isn’t what is going to kill you.'”

She went through 33 painful radiation treatments. But every time she started to get down, “I’d be so mad…but then
I realized how lucky I was that I had gotten it early. I didn’t have to have chemo. I can’t feel sorry for myself when
there’s other woman in the waiting room with me who are sick and in wheel chairs and losing their hair and scared to

“She always walked in with a smile on her face. I’m sure inside there was the fear and not feeling good. But on the
exterior…she was Karen. She handled it unbelievable well.”

This Saturday, Karen will lace up her shoes and walk as a breast cancer survivor in the Steppin out in pink
fundraiser. “We have our team with the La Crosse Radio Group and we call it Radioactive!”

Karen walked for the first time last year, just months after finishing her treatment. “The whole steppin’ out in
pink experience was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again…I just can’t wait.”

Karen is now using that very recognizable voice of hers to share her story and hopefully save a life. “Early
detection. Get those mammogram’s done early girls. And guys, like my husband, make her go. Don’t let her keep putting
it off. It saved my life. It could have been a lot worse.”

For more information on the walk, go to