May 30, 2012

Meet Roma Taylor

Honorary Survivor Chair for the 2012 Susan G. Komen
Quad-Cities Race for the Cure

As a nurse and oldest girl from a family of 13 kids, Davenport’s Roma Taylor is the big sister that her siblings turn to when they had troubles.

In May of 2003, at the age of 47, Roma went in for her routine mammogram. After a diagnosis of breast cancer, specifically ductal carcinoma in situ, Roma needed their support as much as they needed hers.

“This journey for us was very difficult, because the person who was always so strong was now the weakest,” she said.

Roma began the process of biopsies, PET scans, blood tests, and consultations. After meeting with Dr. Joseph Lohmuller of the Davenport Surgical Group, she opted for a mastectomy. She had 22 lymph nodes removed, and also underwent chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Mario Sy and reconstructive surgery with Dr. Jamie Paul.

“I thank God that I was blessed with wonderful doctors who made the process not as difficult as it could have been,” Roma said.

Roma is employed as the clinical services director at the Scott County Health Department, and was voted as one of Iowa’s 100 Greatest Nurses in 2010.

“I had great support from my entire county family,” she said.

While Roma initially wondered, “Why me?” after her diagnosis, she eventually realized there was a reason for it.

“God had a plan for me. I get calls asking me to talk to someone because they were diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve gone to breakfast and doctor appointments with others. It’s important to share stories and be
supportive of one another.”

Roma began participating in the Komen Quad-Cities Race for the Cure 10 years ago, prior to her diagnosis. As the
honorary chair for the 2012 Race, mother of two and a grandmother, she has this message:

“Women are usually the caregivers. We put ourselves and our health last. It’s okay to put yourself first.”

Roma, now age 55, sits on the United Neighbors Health Committee, and was nominated to be the honorary survivor chair by United Neighbors, Inc. board president and health committee chair Shirley McLemore.

“Roma is a great person. She’s very sincere about her position as a nurse and her outreach in the community,” said McLemore.