Karmanos Mother-Daughter Breast Cancer Survivors on the Clock with Detroit Lions During 2024 Draft

Two of Detroit’s biggest Lions fans, mother and daughter breast cancer survivors Brenda Rushlow and Pamela Haddox, have been chosen by the American Cancer Society and the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative to announce the Lions’ third-round pick during the 2024 NFL Draft, hosted in Detroit. Rushlow and Haddox shared their story with FOX 2 in November 2023.

Rushlow and Haddox have the same medical oncologist at Karmanos Cancer Institute: Michael Simon, M.D., MHP, Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) co-leader and the Karmanos Cancer Genetic Counseling Service medical director. Their journeys with breast cancer are similar, and their diseases have come one after another. But they remain each other’s rocks and biggest supporters throughout the fight.

After finding a lump, Rushlow received her first breast cancer diagnosis in 1998 at age 44. Her cancer was estrogen-positive. She received a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation to fight her disease. For the next 15 years, Rushlow was cancer-free.

Ten years later, Haddox was 33 years old when she received her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2008. She found a lump while doing a self-exam, very similar to how her mom found her lump. She was diagnosed with stage II HER-2 positive breast cancer. Haddox went through the same treatment as her mom: a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. For the next 13 years, Haddox was cancer-free.

In 2013, Rushlow was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time. She was 59. This time, the cancer was found through a mammogram. Rushlow decided to have a double mastectomy with Lydia Choi, M.D., breast surgeon and member of the Breast Cancer MDT at Karmanos.

Michael Simon, M.D., MPH

Lydia Choi, M.D.

Thirteen years after her first diagnosis, at 46 years old, Haddox received her second diagnosis. In 2021, a lump was found on her neck. Her cancer was now HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer, and it had spread to several lymph nodes throughout her body. This time, Haddox’s treatment plan consisted of chemotherapy.

A year later, in 2022, Rushlow began fighting her third diagnosis, stage IV metastatic breast cancer in the left lung. This discovery came at age 68.

A strong mother and daughter pair, Rushlow and Haddox support each other and have possibly formed an even stronger bond as they go through their cancer journeys together. They enjoy life, doing everything they would do without the disease. You’ll see them at Ford Field cheering on the Lions, fishing up north, boating, and swimming. And now, they get to do what many only dream of – they have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to announce their favorite team’s pick at the NFL Draft.

They both have the same advice for women: pay attention to your breasts, talk to your doctors and do not put off your checkups. If you are going through a cancer fight, they advise you to keep your spirits high and live your life the way you would have without cancer.

Tune in to the NFL Draft to see Rushlow and Haddox announce the Detroit Lions pick during Round 3 on Friday, April 26, 2024. The draft starts at 7 p.m. on day two.

Watch Rushlow and Haddox’s story on FOX 2 here.