City woman named Super Survivor

By Nick Kovatch on October 16 at 7:17am

A Jacksonville woman who has fought adversity and become an inspiration for others is being recognized for her fight for survival.

Kristan Becker Hoffman was 38 when she received her diagnosis for breast cancer in May 2012. What she couldn’t know was that two unimaginable losses would confront her in less than four months as she went through her treatment.

First, her father, Loren Becker of Jacksonville, would die of heart failure in August. About five weeks later, her husband, Bobby Hoffman, would die from a stroke.

They were a big part of her foundation as she went through treatment, and Hoffman says that foundation was literally pulled out from under her and her two daughters.

Continuing on her breast cancer journey seemed impossible without Bobby, but she says her family and his family pulled together and helped her and her daughters through it.

Hoffman is one of three women who were randomly chosen as Super Survivors to be honored at this year’s Be Aware Women’s Fair organized by Memorial Medical Center of Springfield. The fourth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Super Survivors are women whose breast cancer journeys have been an inspiration to others. Their unique stories will be shared with fair-goers when the Super Survivors reveal their makeovers courtesy of BJ Grand Salon and Spa and their new outfits.

Hoffman’s message to young women is to take charge of their health. With more women diagnosed at a younger age, it’s important to remember that breast cancer is a preventable and curable disease and to administer self-breast exams. She says “If you find something that’s not right, you have to be reactive to that.”

She also recommends seeking second opinions. When she did, she says she learned about other options that she wouldn’t have known about had she settled for a single opinion.

Pictured above: Kristan and her daughters Leah, 8, and Kolby, 4.