After battling cervical cancer, Mikiko Dollard is inspiring others with her story – including her own daughter.
Seeing a child graduate from college is special, but for Mikiko Dollard, 48, her daughter’s upcoming graduation at The Citadel in May will be even more meaningful. Neither knew if Mikiko would be able to attend the graduation after she was diagnosed with stage 3b cervical cancer in 2020.
“I was always tired and felt some pressure building in my stomach. Weeks had gone by, and I was losing a lot of weight and just knew something wasn’t right,” Mikiko said.
At first, doctors near her home in the small town of Johnsonville, South Carolina, told her she had a urinary tract infection and low vitamin D levels. But she continued to push her primary care doctor to investigate further and eventually had a Pap smear and ultrasound performed. It was in July 2020 when Mikiko heard the words no one can fully prepare for – you have cancer.
Despite not having a family history of cancer, Mikiko, native-born Japanese, took the diagnosis in stride, determined to do whatever was needed to be there for her two daughters and husband of 23 years. To her daughter Mya, 22, a senior at The Citadel, the diagnosis came as a blow…