Jan Tyler is the 2017 Wings Award Winner
Jan Tyler was nominated by her nephew, Tyler Teke.
How has the nominee exemplified courage and determination through their cancer journey?
In June of 1998, Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37. At this time, Jan had three children ages 5, 7 and 10 with a full time job. In August of 1998 she underwent mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. That September she began 8 rounds of chemotherapy.
That next summer, Jan participated in the first Relay for Life event. The following year, she started to serve on the planning committee for the Relay for Life in Dearborn and Ohio Counties.
In May of 2001, it was discovered that Jan’s breast cancer had come back. She underwent a lumpectomy and 35 radiation treatments. Jan knew that the chemotherapy did not work and that if the radiation treatments did not work, there was not much else that could be done. With 3 children in school and a family to take care of, she never skipped a beat.
Almost 19 year later, Jan has beat cancer multiple times and has been a rock for many others fighting that fight. She is cancer free and such an inspiration to many, many others.
She is a grandmother now and loves her granddaughter unconditionally. Jan’s determination in beating this has given her endless, unforgettable memories.
How has the nominee lifted up others contrary to their own diagnosis?
During Jan’s fight, she never stopped thinking of others. While she was fighting cancer, she participated in her first Relay for Life event. This has now become basically a family reunion every year for our family now. In the year 200, 2 years after her diagnosis, Jan joined the planning committee for this event and has been on that committee every year since. She has also been the chairperson of the event/planning committee for 8 years. During her time, the Relay grew exponentially each year and was able to raise thousands of dollars for cancer research.
Just being involved in her own community was not good enough though, from 2011 to 2015, Jan served on the Lakeshore Division Relay for Life Advisory Team for the American Cancer Society, from 2012 – 2015 she served on the Nationwide Relay Advisory Team for the American Cancer Society, from 2012 to 2015 she was a volunteer for Susan G. Komen as a Facilitator of A Time to Heal Program and also an evaluator of grant applications.
Through all this, she did not lose sight of her community though. In November of 2001, she founded and began facilitating monthly meetings of the Breast Cancer Support Group in Dearborn County. This group still exists today and meets monthly to offer support and education opportunities for breast cancer survivors. Jan still continues to facilitate these monthly meetings.
For her work, in the year 2007, she was the recipient of the Heart of Gold Award presented by the Dearborn Community Foundation. In 2010 she was also the recipient of the Distinguished Woman of Dearborn County Award
On top of all this, Jan is an amazing family member. In our family, we have had multiple members either diagnosed with cancer or lose the fight to it. My step-father passed of brain cancer and Jan was and still is my rock. It is amazing how caring and inspiring she is for others, while she is in need her self.
When I think of the work “selfless”, Jan is the epitome of that. During her fight, she was fighting for others.