Thrive by IU Health

She rode her Harley thousands of miles to celebrate recovery

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

She rode her Harley thousands of miles to celebrate recovery

Diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer, this patient is celebrating her recovery by traveling the United States on two wheels.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes,

She poses in front of a set of wings and shows a big smile. Dianne Spillers, says the wings aren’t just any wings. They are her angel wings. The picture was taken at her 10-year survivor party.

Since her diagnosis in May 2010, she has celebrated every five years. The party includes glowing Chinese lanterns and friends and family members.

But every day is a celebration for Spillers, who turned 62 in January.

Her symptoms started as a red spot and a rash under her left breast. Her skin began to pucker and a lump grew the size of a tennis ball. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. At first, she was told by one doctor that she had six months to live. So she decided to get a second opinion and came to IU Health Simon Cancer Center where she has been in the care of Dr. Kathy Miller.

There are fewer than 200,000 cases of inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Spillers was part of a clinical trial that included maintenance chemotherapy.

Now, she says she is happy she didn’t listen to her initial prognosis. “I can’t say enough about IU Health Simon Cancer Center,” said Spillers. In addition to enjoying every day loving on her three children, 15 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, Spillers enjoys taking to the open road on her Harley Davidson Touring Bike.

Dianne Spillers on motorcycle

Her latest trip took her through 15 states in 21 days for a total of about 7,500 miles.

Joined by a friend, their first goal was to head west to see the Redwood National State Park. “From there it just developed. We took Highway 2 and rode over 800 miles the first day to Minneapolis, Minn. and then to the top of the US close to Canada. Whatever road signs we saw that looked interesting, we just stopped. We had no reservations and no worries that we wouldn’t find a place to sleep,” said Spillers.

Pictures show her perched high on atop a mountain in Roanoke, Va., along the Blue Ridge Parkway, standing next to a “Welcome to Wyoming” billboard, and posing near the beautiful Badlands.

They rode through Glacier, the corner of Washington State to Oregon and followed the Pacific Coast Highway into California. They rode on to Las Vegas and through Nevada where they saw the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. Their journey took them through Sedona where they stopped at a spa for massages and then came back to the Four Corners and home.

Home for Spillers is Lynn, Ind. in Randolph County.

“I’ve always been independent and what better way to live your life than to ride the country,” said Spillers. Where is she headed next? Her Facebook post says it best: “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list.”

Related Services

Featured Providers

Kathy D. Miller, MD

Hematology - Oncology

View More Providers