She also had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a blood cancer, but didn't know it.
"I was perfectly healthy and dying of cancer," she said.
She noticed a lump on the side of her neck as she was driving back to Athens in the fall of that year, but didn't immediately take action. After noticing the lump was still there a few weeks later, she went to a doctor. After a CAT scan and a biopsy, she received the diagnosis.
"It was very difficult to hear," she said about learning she had cancer.
Instead of preparing for a life and career, her last year at college was going to be spent fighting cancer.
"I feel like I missed out on my senior year a little bit," she said.
Ms. Yacher underwent six months of chemotherapy ("Yes, I lost all my hair and eyebrows"), but remained in school "because I was stubborn and determined to graduate."
The chemotherapy worked and just a couple of weeks later, she participated in her first American Cancer Society Relay for Life event on the University of Georgia team in an effort to knock cancer out of other people.
She is the captain of the Woodstock Elementary School team for the 2011 Cherokee County Relay for Life walkathon fundraiser, which will be held at Creekview High School. The overnight event is on May 20 and 21.
Landon Waters, co-chairman of this year's event, said the goal this year for the relay is to have 80 teams participate. There are 47 teams signed up so far.
Last year's event attracted 70 teams and raised about $247,000. The goal this year is to surpass it with $259,000.
About 1,100 people participated in the event last year, and Waters said he's hoping to get 1,200 this year.
So far this year, more than 300 people have signed up, and Cherokee has raised more than $40,000. The cancer society asks that each team have at least two people and try to raise $100 or more per team member. The registration deadline is April 11, and information is online at www.cherokeerelay.org.
"Overall, people are getting excited earlier," he said during the relay's Cherokee County Kick-Off Celebration on Monday night at Mill Creek Middle School in southeast Cherokee County. The kickoff included a complimentary steak dinner for the 125 volunteers who attended provided by Outback Steakhouse of Canton.
At the relay event in May, teams start walking at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday and take turns on the track until 8 a.m. The teams set up camp where they rest and socialize with other walkers when not on the track.
Kitty Stewart of southeastern Cherokee is participating in the event for the first time. She is a breast cancer survivor and has started her own team.
"I wanted to give back," she said. "I wanted to raise some money and get involved."