A Johnsburg woman was given free tickets to the Chicago Bulls game and was recognized on the court Friday evening to celebrate her successful fight against breast cancer.
Michele Vanderveer joined the Chicago Bulls at the United Center as they took on the Toronto Raptors.
Vanderveer, who is a breast cancer survivor and Advocate Health Care patient, participated in the “Fan Tunnel” experience where she and her guests high-fived the players on their way out to the court.
They received tickets to the game and took photos on the court prior to tipoff.
Vandeveer recently had her last infusion on October 17 and is now cancer-free, according to Advocate Health Care.
She has undergone treatment at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington over the past year.
Vandeveer, who is in her mid-40s and has no family history of cancer, skipped her mammogram screening in 2021.
After multiple tests, she was diagnosed with a fast-growing form of breast cancer last October.
Health officials say her mammogram screening in August 2022 likely saved her life.
“If I had waited another year, it would have been much worse,” Vandeveer said.
She started her fight with an appointment to discuss breast surgery the next day.
Advocate Health Care said Vandeveer went through six rounds of chemotherapy, two surgeries and 20 rounds of radiation and immunotherapy infusions.
Community members in Johnsburg rallied around Vandeveer and she kept a positive attitude throughout her fight.
Family and friends surprised Vandeveer on her last day of chemotherapy with signs and a parade to celebrate.
Vandeveer’s husband was with her throughout every chemotherapy treatment, surgery and appointment.
The two even spent their 21st wedding anniversary in the hospital because it was the day of Michele’s surgery, which was a success.