Video: Cancer survivor Erin Dunmire's inspirational journey
After undergoing surgery in 2011 where Dr. Julian Bailes removed a lemon-sized tumor from her brain, Dunmire has now been cancer-free for over eight years.
“It’s a very aggressive brain tumor,” Dunmire said. “Usually 14-18 months (to live) if you’re lucky.
“I elected to stay at my own home (with the WVU Cancer Institute), because I’ve worked here for 33 years, and get everything that I needed,” she continued. “It’s a different feeling when you stay home and people know you. Everyone was so welcoming. You become part of a family. I wouldn’t go anywhere else and I was blessed that I didn’t have to.”
Working with the Cancer Institute, Dunmire has taken on the role of meeting with other patients who have also been diagnosed.
“I’ve been asked to talk to about four new people, one of them just passed away,” Dunmire said. “What they get from me is hope, when they see. Now, I know the reality. With mine, it was able to be taken out and a lot of them still have stuff in it and those tentacles are horrendous.
“It humbles me to become a part of their family,” she continued. “That is what’s so meaningful for me to be a part of the Cancer Center.”
Inspired by her niece, Dunmire started a fund with the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, called ‘Let the Journey Begin,’ which helps sponsor brain cancer research and provides comfort care for brain cancer patients.
“We did fundraisers and all different kinds of things,” she said. “It was all grassroots and there are a lot of people out there supporting us when they hear what it’s all about.”
Dunmire, her family and friends have raised over $177,000 for the fund.
“It’s the big man upstairs, I’m just the vehicle,” Dunmire said. “I know that He wants me to do something. I hope that I’m doing what he wants me to do.”
Watch the video above for more on Dunmire’s story and consider making a gift to the WVU Cancer Center to make an impact on other patients like her.