TOPEKA (KSNT) – Cancer can’t keep this Topeka businesswoman down.

Katy Nelson is a former military brat who settled down in Topeka 20 years ago and is a three-time survivor of cancer. She’s had to overcome thyroid, uteran and ovarian cancer along with breast cancer.

“I was so tired. I mean there were mornings I really just couldn’t get out of bed I was exhausted and there was no reason for me to be exhausted,” Nelson said.

Katy did not want her health to stop her from enhancing the city she called home though. As CEO of the Topeka Builder’s Association, she says that she does everything in her power to make Topeka a better place.

“I was a nay sayer ‘oh there’s nothing to do in Topeka’ ‘oh I don’t like Topeka’ ‘oh nobody stays local nobody does this’,” Nelson said. “Well, I don’t have the right to complain if I’m not willing to be a part of the solution. So I just decided okay I’m going to find things I can do and I’m going to help Topeka.”

Katy is involved in multiple organizations across the capital city. From Bountiful Baskets to coordinating the race against breast cancer and even starting a bowling league which raises money for the race that helped her and many others receive free mammograms.

“I don’t like to sit still,” Nelson said. “I like to have fun. I always tell people you gotta work and you gotta play well I’m a big time kayaker I like to hike so kayaking in the summertime I’m gone. The minute it gets warm I’m out so you won’t find me doing a lot of stuff.”

Being an outdoors person, Katy works with the riverfront to really enhance the state’s natural beauty.

“I’m extremely passionate about the Kansas river I mean it is our river home and we’ve got to promote it,” Nelson said. “We’re making a lot of improvements in downtown Topeka.”

With so many obstacles thrown her way, Katy is living proof that you can get far if you just put your heart into it.

“The fact that I was nominated for this, I’m mind blown because I’m not any different than anybody else I’m really not,” Nelson said. “I mean we could all have this possibility we can all do this. We just have to want it.”