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October 2, 2012

Arby’s CEO shares her story

Self-exam led to discovery

ATLANTA — When Arby’s employee Andrew Dodd read that the Times was seeking breast cancer survivors to share their stories in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, he immediately thought of the company CEO, Hala Moddelmog.

Moddelmog is an 11-year survivor of the disease who has championed breast cancer awareness since her diagnosis in 2001.

She served as the president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and she now runs Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., one of the country’s largest fast food chains.

She counts herself as extremely fortunate, having caught the disease through a self-exam.

At only 45 years of age at the time, Moddelmog had no history of breast cancer in her family.

Unfortunately, the cancer was already Stage 2 and her options were limited.

“I had a double mastectomy, lymph nodes removed and chemotherapy,” she said.

According to Moddelmog, she did not have any adverse affects from the surgery or the chemotherapy.

“I never missed a single day of work during chemo,” she says. At the time, Moddelmog was president of Church’s Chicken.

As a survivor, Moddelmog considers herself an advocate for women’s health, and several years after her diagnosis, she was named president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she stayed for three years, assisting the national organization in its fundraising efforts and serving as an example to other women.

“I certainly consider myself an advocate for women to take care of themselves and advocate for themselves,” she says.

Now 56, Moddelmog currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, and they have two children, Ty, 27 and Kier, 24.

Originally from Hartwell, Ga., Moddelmog received her bachelor’s degree in English from Georgia Southern and a master’s in Journalism/ Mass Communications from the University of Georgia.

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