Becky Daugherty: A Super Survivor Who Works with Hospice Patients

Becky Daughtery, CNA

Even while Becky Daugherty was receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, she rarely let it slow her down as she worked with hospice patients – some of whom were losing their own battles with cancer.

Becky is a certified nursing assistant with Memorial Home Services Hospice and has worked with hospice patients for 23 years. Her cancer journey only strengthened her bond with her patients.

“They’ve told me that I have a better understanding of what they’re going through,” she said.

The Pawnee resident is one of three women who were named Super Survivors for this year’s Be Aware Women’s Fair, an annual event hosted by Memorial Medical Center that is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

She and the other Super Survivors will be recognized at 12:30 p.m. on the entertainment stage when they reveal their full makeovers, which include a trip to BJ Grand Salon and Spa and a new outfit.

“I was shocked,” Becky said when she learned her name was chosen in the random drawing.

Her journey began in March 2011. Breast cancer didn’t run in her family, but the 57-year-old had her yearly mammogram scheduled when she discovered a hard knot under her left arm. Her doctor had her come in for a mammogram and sonogram right away.

The pictures revealed a large white spot, which she knew could be trouble. When Becky’s caregivers asked if they could do a biopsy while she was there, she suspected the news was going to be serious.

The test results confirmed cancer. Becky decided to have a total mastectomy, which was done within two weeks. The cancer had reached her lymph nodes, and she still needed to have chemo. Her treatments began in late April and continued every three weeks until August.

Her sense of humor and positive outlook helped her get through her cancer journey.

“I’ve always had an upbeat attitude, even after working hospice all these years,” Becky said. “I wasn’t going to let it get me down.”

Her journey inspired her daughter, Kathleen Pingelton, as well.

“Any time I feel like there is a challenge in my life that is too much to bear, I always look to my mother as a symbol of strength to overcome the odds,” Kathleen said. “I know how blessed I am to have her in my life. Watching her personal journey has brought us even closer.”