Wife of Dolphins’ defensive line coach shares her experience tackling breast cancer

(WSVN) - A South Florida woman tackling breast cancer is now sharing her story and spreading awareness to other women.

Amy Kocurek is used to being her husband’s cheerleader.

Her husband, Kris Kocurek, is the Miami Dolphins’ current defensive line coach and previously coached for the Detroit Lions.

However, everything changed for the couple in 2015.

“I had stage Stage III HER2-positive and estrogen-positive breast cancer,” said Amy.

Kris said he remembers the night their life shifted.

“We had just gotten back from the Pro Bowl, and my wife rolled over in bed and felt a lump,” he said. “We were both concerned, so we went in and got it checked out.”

“My tumor was a five-centimeter tumor, and it was in my lymph nodes,” Amy added.

Diagnosed with an aggressive and rapid type of cancer, Amy and Kris had to put plans for their wedding on hold.

“It was a year-long ordeal. She fought every day,” said Kris. “There were some good days, there were some bad days.”

Amy said the diagnosis was devastating and took her into a dark place of fear and depression.

“I was at such a low point, and he was like my coach. He was my coach,” she said. “He was their coach, but he was my coach. Every day, he picked me up.”

In the darkest of times when she was going through the roughest part of the chemo and stuff, we narrowed it down to a one-day approach,” Kris added. “We’re going to wake up in the morning and we’re going to beat that day.”

Completing six difficult months of chemotherapy resulted in Amy losing her hair and lots of weight.

But she slowly regained her spirit thanks to the help of her husband and family.

“Going through all that and being bald, not wearing makeup and looking so skinny — all I cared about was my life,” she said.

Amy then had to undergo a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery and six more months of therapy that targeted the aggressive HER-2 cancer cells.

“Right now, I’m in remission, so we’re hoping it never comes back,” Amy said.

The couple was eventually able to have their dream wedding.

Amy is now using her platform to spread hope and awareness.

“Be aware of your body, do your self-checks, do your annuals as early as they let you do an annual,” she said. “I just feel like anyone who is going through it right now, be positive and pray, and you’ll get there. You’ll get there. Don’t let it defeat you.”

Amy reiterated that early detection is key in the battle against breast cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation teams up with local facilities to help individuals who cannot afford mammogram exams. Click here for more information.

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