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Award winning nurse helps breast cancer patients with personal experience

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Oct 08 2012 04:44:13 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 08 2012 05:30:16 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A Community Medical Center nurse is the winner of a national award for her work with breast cancer patients.

Michelle Weaver Knowles received the 1st Annual ‘Oncology Nurse Navigator of the Year Award.’ Weaver Knowles’ Missoula patients nominated her for the award showcased in the magazine 'Living with Cancer.'

Patients said she goes above and beyond when it comes to their health and well being.

NBC Montana sat down with Weaver Knowles to talk with her about the award and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the brief time we talked with her, it was clear why she won this national award. Breast cancer cost her more than she'd ever imagined.

Weaver Knowles works as nurse navigator in Community Medical's Breast Health Center. She helps patients battle the disease, one she is more than familiar with.

“I think that that comforts patients sometimes to know that I really do know what they feel like when they're going through this whole process,” said Weaver Knowles.

14 years this month, she’s been a survivor; she uses her personal experience to help patients cope. And her connection to the disease doesn't stop there. Much of her dedication comes from work her sister started.

“She was a huge advocate for women, especially young women,” she said.

Michelle’s sister Sherri Smith lost her battle with breast cancer at just 33.

“I just kind of continued on her mission of helping women,” said Weaver Knowles.

And she has continued that work. It's no coincidence her favorite color is pink or that she knows everything there is about breast cancer screening.

That's why her patients nominated her and why she won.

“It's a huge deal to me,” said Weaver Knowles.

She'll be featured in the 'Living with Cancer' magazine the first part of next year for her work and award.