Indiana native uses her own cancer to further research

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By Nicole Pence

MASON, OHIO-- An Indiana native and Ball State Graduate is delaying her cancer treatment so the research may help other women fighting breast cancer.

"I was devastated. Absolutely devastated," said Dr. Kimberly Koss from Mason, Ohio.

Dr. Kimberly Koss found out April 28 she has breast cancer.

"Immobilized. Angry, grief stricken," said Dr. Kimberly Koss.

232,000 American women will be diagnosed this year, but Dr. Koss' battle is a rare one.

Dr. Koss is battling a fast-growing, triple-negative cancer that usually targets post-menopausal African-American women. Commonly used drugs and treatments usually have little benefit.

"I did not think I would be able to cope," said Dr. Koss.

The bio-medical scientist and cellular researcher realized her tumors, if they weren't affected by chemo treatments, could mean huge developments in breast cancer research and possibly a vaccine.

That's why Dr. Koss said no to chemo treatments.

"I can't say that I feel brave because I am scared everyday but I am walking forward in the courage that I have. I realized if not me, who and when? Because the clock is ticking for my daughter and grand daughters and a myriad of sisters who don't have hope for this terrible type of breast cancer," said Dr. Kimberly Koss.

A careful and complicated process, the cells from Koss' tumors were removed and are now in a lab at Loyalty University in Chicago.

"I believe in my heart of hearts, using the living cells that we have we will have a breast cancer vaccine," said Dr. Koss.

A donation for science and for all the women fighting this disease.

"Have faith. Have hope. And have love. Because none of this could have been accomplished without love --- in fact science is a labor of love for anyone who has done it -- they will tell you that," said Dr. Koss.

Dr. Koss' tumor cells are currently being researched, but more funding is needed.

Friends and family have created a crowd-funding page to help with her research and care.