Friends, officers, moms: Women stand by each other through cancer diagnosis too

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This Sunday thousands will line the lakefront for the Komen Chicago Mother's Day Race for the Cure.

At the front of that pack will be Melinda Linas and Jessica Jones.  They will be side by side as they always have been through life's sweetest and darkest moments.

"15 years ago Jessica and I were assigned to the same district. We hit it off right away and became great friends,” says Chicago Police Sergeant, Melinda Linas.

The two have been inseparable since.  They have leaned on each other through marriages, their work as Chicago police officers and as new moms.

The parallels have been a blessing until the summer of 2016, when at age 38, Jessica was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It was just four months later that Melinda received another call, this time about her own mammogram.

"Because of Jessica, I scheduled a biopsy and they said, ‘It is cancer,’” remembers Linas.

Two best friends were now in the fight of their lives. Over the next year, they held one another up, through surgeries, chemo and endless drug treatments.

"We have such a special bond and I did start to think about how other women may feel isolated if they don't have someone they can share with.  Which ultimately led us to our involvement with Komen,” said Jessica.

Last year, Jessica and Melinda's team raised $25,000 for Komen's Race For The Cure. Every dollar raised to support other moms going through exactly what they were.

This year, they'll be back as co-chairs of the race. Melinda is finally cancer free but Jessica's battle continues.  She was diagnosed with advanced metastatic breast cancer still ravishing her spinal bones.

"1000 women in Chicago alone are going to die from breast cancer. It doesn't take long for you to pick up a paper and see an obituary of a woman who fought this fight so until that ends, we're going to be involved and keep pushing,” she said.

If you'd like to support Melinda and Jessica's fundraising efforts, log on to KomenChicago  and their team page





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