Hattiesburg woman tells her story of survival

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "It is a real eye opening experience to look at all of your belongings and possessions, and think this may be the last time I see them," said Toni Wild.

At 50 years old, Wild has fought for her life three times.

"In some ways it was almost like, what was suppose to cure me was almost kind of killing me," said Wild.

Wild's fight started in 1992.

"My first diagnoses with breast cancer was in 1992," said Wild.

She received treatment and remained cancer free for six years, but with this triumph came tragedy. In 1997, Wild's late husband was killed in a car accident. Wild recalls making one of the hardest decisions of her life.

"And that was to decide if I wanted him to be an organ donor. Knowing my husband the way I did, I couldn't say no. I knew it was something he would definitely approve of," said Wild.

Wild says she provided three families with major organs. While those families received another chance at life, a different kind of cancer hit Wild in 1998. After the last round of cancer treatment she knew something was wrong.

"I could barely breathe, I was extremely short of breath. I didn't not know at that time what my future held for me," said Wild.

She found out the chemotherapy she chose to take for her cancer was cardiotoxic.

"I had Cardiomyopathy which led to acute congestive heart failure," said Wild.

Doctors told Wild, short of a heart transplant, there was nothing they could do. So, after major testing, Wild found out she was a candidate for a transplant, and received the phone call after one week on the national register.

"I got my heart transplant on June the second of 2009," said Wild.

Since then, Wild helps lead the fight against heart disease by working with the Go Red for Women Campaign, and attending heart walks. Wild understand her story may resonate with people, but she says it's not about her, it's about the mission.

For more on Wild's story and the fight against heart disease and women go here: http://www.goredforwomen.org/?story=toni-wild

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