MID-SOUTH HERO: Woman turns 'selfish' past into life of service - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MID-SOUTH HERO: Woman turns 'selfish' past into life of service

Heather Donohue (Source: WMC Action News 5) Heather Donohue (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Stage four breast cancer didn't stop Heather from working and volunteering. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Stage four breast cancer didn't stop Heather from working and volunteering. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A woman who turned her "selfish" past into a life of service is WMC Action News 5's latest Mid-South Hero.

One ring and it's "go time" for Heather Donohue. By trade, she lives in the sky as a Hospital Wing flight nurse. 

For Heather, who also served our country as a Marine, the road to getting to where she is now is deeply personal.

"I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and I spent most of my 20s being a very selfish person, and when I got sober, I decided to go to EMT school," she explained. "My first night doing 911, we had a very bad wreck. Hospital Wing was there. I knew right then I was hooked. This is what I want to do."

When Heather is back on solid ground, she is giving back. She delivers Meals on Wheels, participates in St. Jude events, and volunteers with animal rescue groups.

"People are always like, 'Oh, you do all these wonderful things,' and it makes me feel better. It gives me energy to keep going," she said.

Being diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in 2015 didn't even slow her down.

"I developed a mass in my breast, and I'm medical; I knew it was something," Heather explained.

Heather continued to inspire everyone around her through harsh chemotherapy and, sometimes, debilitating side effects.

"She never called into work though IV chemo. Not one time," said Heather's colleague, Adrian Banks. "If she can go out in the freezing cold to rescue someone that's having the worst day of their life, then surely I can make it through today."

Through the national organization, Metavivor, Heather also started a support group for other Memphians battling stage-four breast cancer.

"I'm not the only one here who has stage-four breast cancer, I know that. So, I want other people to have someone they can talk to," Heather said.

She doesn't plan on stopping any time soon, because to Heather, the best therapy can't be found through an IV or a pill.

"I really believe in spreading goodness to combat a lot of the things going on in our world right now," she said. "I desperately want to, one person at a time, one activity at a time, just change things for that day."

For these reasons and more, Heather Donohue is a Mid-South Hero. Thank you for all you do for your community, Heather. You're an inspiration to us all.

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