From mom to teacher, policy adviser to chancellor, cancer survivor to current candidate for state superintendent of schools, Catherine Truitt has been there and done that.

Sitting down to talk with Truitt, one might not guess from the smile on her face and blonde bob haircut that she has beaten breast cancer. Truitt said she self-detected a lump just two months before the 2016 election, while serving as senior education advisor to then-Gov. Pat McCrory.

“Within a couple of weeks, I knew that it was cancer and that I would be having surgery followed by chemo and radiation,” Truitt said. “And so, it was a very, very busy time leading up to the election, and of course, and I had to go to the governor and say, ‘I’ve got breast cancer, and I’m not going to be here for you.’”

“And he looked me right in the eye and said, ‘Your health is the most important thing. Don’t think about the election,’” said Truitt.

According to Truitt, running for state superintendent was never something she planned to do. But when rumors surfaced that Mark Johnson might not run again, people “on both sides of the aisle” began asking her to consider it.

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