Winsto-Salem, NC -- Hundreds of mothers, sisters, aunts and nieces will meet in Greensboro Saturday morning because in some way they have all been touched by cancer.
They're part of the Women's Only 5k race, a fundraiser aimed at ending breast cancer, providing mammograms to un-insured and under-insured women.
Ahead of the event, News 2 found one woman who inspired a breast cancer breakthrough that could help thousands of patients all over the world.
"My case was a miracle," Linda Tuttle said.
Tuttle is an administrative assistant at Wake Forest University. But these days the title she relishes is "survivor."
It's been a long road from cancer to cancer free.
"I have no complications, no real side-effects to the medication to speak of and I attribute that to my faith," she said.
A routine breast exam in 2009 turned into a cancer diagnosis. Linda was 52-years-old and had questions about medications and what was happening to her body. It was what led her just down the hall to cancer researcher Dr. Uli Beirbach
"It was kind of a coincidence," Bierbach said recalling how his research interest, at the time, was turning from lung cancer to breast cancer.
"We decided to develop our lung cancer treatment into a potent breast cancer treatment," the medicinal chemist explained.
Bierbach and his lab decided to experiment with Tamoxifen - the breast cancer drug Linda was taking to see they could increase its potency/effectiveness.
"We basically trick the cell in a way that makes it believe that its doing something good for itself when, in fact, it's importing a very toxic molecule and eventually will die," said Bierbach.
The doctor's discovery makes the cancer drug more powerful and he says test after test show, what he calls "targeted missiles," could be more effective at treating the disease.
"It's a very rewarding experience to be able to work in the chemistry department here at wake forest and as such make a contribution to mankind," he said/
Ironically, Linda's stage one breast cancer was treated and cured before Dr. Bierbach could finish his research and test it on her.
But for breast cancer patients at later stages - this could improve their chances of survival.
Bierbach's research still has to be approved by the FDA and endure clinical testing before it could be an available common treatment. But the team has hope.
"I believe that God puts us through thing for a reason and to me, this is a perfect example," Linda said.