Riding the Waves of Resilience: Donna’s Journey with Harley-Davidson and ABCD
— Abby Padilla, ABCD Marketing & Communications Specialist
July 14, 2023
Donna King’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, a genetic disorder that made her more susceptible to developing various types of cancer. Having dealt with bladder cancer previously, she was devastated to face yet another challenge in 2023: invasive ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. Donna requested a second opinion from her brother, a 30-year breast radiologist, who confirmed the need for a biopsy. But amidst this tough news, Donna found solace in an unlikely source: Harley-Davidson.
In her search for support, Donna’s wife stumbled upon ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis because of the organization’s partnership with Harley-Davidson. Donna and her wife are avid motorcycle riders. Intrigued by the connection, Donna requested a Mentor and was soon matched. Little did Donna know that this chance encounter would lead to a powerful connection and friendship that would shape her journey.
Speaking about her Mentor, Donna remarked, “ABCD couldn’t have picked a more perfect match for me. She had the same type of breast cancer. She also rides a Harley. That connection meant the world to me.” Throughout her journey, Donna has reached out to her Mentor via texts and calls and has received unwavering support. Donna described how grateful she is to be able to lean on her Mentor whenever she experiences side effects from chemotherapy or has concerns about her treatment. “My Mentor has been really, really helpful. Even if [my care team has] already told me I might have a side effect, I call her to say, ‘Hey, have you had this?’ She understands what I’m going through,” Donna said.
Harley-Davidson’s involvement with ABCD, as Donna discovered, deepened her connection to the brand. The company’s contributions to ABCD resonated deeply with Donna. Determined to show her support, she purchased a Pink Label Collection hat from Harley-Davidson; the company donates a portion of the proceeds to organizations like ABCD. Donna proudly wears the hat as a symbol of her resilience and commitment to raising awareness.
Beyond her love for motorcycles, Donna leads a fulfilling life. She has been a hairstylist and salon owner for 38 years. In addition, Donna expresses her artistic side by playing the drums in a rock band with her wife, performing on the grand stage of their local Tennessee Harley-Davidson dealership. Donna credits her father for her ability to keep moving on despite challenges. “If you worry about the outcome, it doesn’t affect the outcome, except maybe negatively,” she said. “It’s just a hand of cards you play out in life, and I continue to live on.”
Donna’s resilience in the face of adversity, her connection with her ABCD Mentor, and strong support from the Harley-Davidson community have fortified her spirit. Donna’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of shared experiences and the strength that arises when one embraces the support of others.
In Donna’s words, Harley-Davidson and ABCD have been pillars of strength for her. They’ve provided a support system. With her Mentor by her side and the empowering connection found within this community, she rides through life’s challenges with newfound resilience. Donna’s story serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is support to help guide us.
Donna King was diagnosed in 2023 with bilateral stage 2 IDC- invasive ductal carcinoma opting for a bilateral mastectomy with chemotherapy.