By Libby Hopkins

Jaime Gukiesen of Valrico will tell you she is truly blessed. She has a wonderful husband, five loving daughters and a church family who loves and supports her. Gukiesen is also a two-time survivor of cervical cancer. “It is so important for women to go to their yearly exam,” Gukiesen said, “That’s how they found my cancer.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Website (, “Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. However, in the past 40 years, the number of cases of cervical cancer and the number of deaths from cervical cancer have decreased significantly.

This decline largely is the result of many women getting regular Pap tests which can find cervical pre-cancer before it turns into cancer.”  The Website also said that 12,357 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer last year.

Since Gukiesen got so much help from her family and friends while she was recovering from radiation and chemo therapy, she felt she needed to give back for all the kindness she received. “The only way I got through my battle with cancer was with the love and support from my family, my church family, prayers and God,” Gukiesen said, “I wanted to give back because I’m a survivor.” She and her husband decided to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-Mile Walk this coming October.

They need to raise $2,300 each and to help them meet their goals; Gukiesen and her church are having a fundraiser on June 29. It will be held in the gymnasium at Central Baptist Church in Brandon from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. They are having a bake sale, yard sale, craft sale, and so much more. The Taco Bus will be on hand serving breakfast and lunch and it is donating a portion of its proceeds to Gukiesen’s fundraiser.

People have asked her why she is walking for breast cancer when she had cervical cancer and she told them, “Cancer is cancer. I spent a lot of time resting last year and didn’t feel like I accomplished much and I needed to do something,” Gukiesen said.  If you would like to make a donation to The Gukiesen’s walk, you can visit the link on the Susan G. Komen Website at  Central Baptist Church is located at 402 E. Windhorst Rd.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.