Oklahoma Woman Goes The Distance Against Cancer


Monday, November 30th 2020, 6:34 pm
By: Brian Mueller


For Carla Prothro, this isn’t just a walk in the park.

“If you put your mind and your body together, fine tune them together, it’s amazing what this has done for my cancer journey and recovery," Carla said.

Carla was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018. She had half of her left lung removed.

Earlier this year she started walking every day, and by July, she completed her first half marathon.

“As a lung cancer patient, this is not something I ever expected to do. The last 10 minutes of it, I couldn’t even describe how I felt. I was crying. I think first and foremost, I was proud of myself," Carla said.

Carla needed another surgery at the OU Medical Center in August to remove cancer from her right lung.

It was minimally invasive, but doctors expected her to be in the hospital three to five days.

She was out in 26 hours and walking two days later.

A month later, she did another half marathon.

“I know it’s because I was in the physical shape. I was showing cancer that, you know, I’m taking charge of this," Carla said.

Her surgeon at the Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, Dr. Matthew Reinersman, said “If I could put her on a video loop to talk about to all my patients about being motivated even after surgery, she’d be it.”

Reinersman said lung cancer is the number one killer among cancers in America, and encourages early screening, especially if you’re a former smoker. Catching it early can increase survival odds by 20%.

“Particularly in the state of Oklahoma, it really needs more awareness since we rank near the bottom in most of the statistics that you can look at in how lung cancer is diagnosed and treated," Reinersman said.

As for Carla, you might be able to guess the next goal she’s stepping towards in 2021.

“I’m going to try, really hard, for that full marathon,” she said.

If there’s one thing we know about Carla, she can walk the walk.