From Breast Cancer to the American Cancer Society
This survivor (on the right) has used her experience as a springboard into multiple useful activities and life changes. Interestingly, she now works for the American Cancer Society and I can’t think of a more appropriate job for her. Cancer may have stricken her, but she turned the fight against it into a career and a calling.
IN HER OWN WORDS: I am an 8-1/2 year Breast Cancer Survivor. When I received the call from Dr. Kehoe about being diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer, it felt like I was punched in the stomach, which took the wind out of me and I didn’t know what to do or how to react. I was stunned.
I thought about it for a few minutes and I made my first call to my best friend. As I was talking to her she started to breakdown, and at that moment I went into survival mode and was the one who comforted her. Then, I made the next call to another best friend and she broke down.
The next morning I had to break the news to my mom in person, who is also a breast cancer survivor, and she almost fell on the floor. I knew that I had to rise above and stand up to this dreadful disease for my friends and my family and ultimately myself.
Long story short, I went through all the treatments and feared a recurrence, but have beat the cancer. But there was more to come.
One day I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. It wasn’t me; I had gained over 25 lbs. I lost my job, and was falling into a depression. I knew it was time to make a change. The cancer had changed me and now I was going to change. This was a life defining moment
I went into survival mode and galvanized a career out of my diagnosis and started to share my story through various channels. I had to stop making excuses and take charge of my health and my life by regaining my strength and proving to myself again that I can overcome any obstacles before me.
A friend of mine encouraged me to do Tough Mudder with her. At first, I was reluctant but she convinced me to look at it as an opportunity to overcome the obstacles before us. With that, I started boot camp with a great team of trainers at Bad Ass Academy to help prep for the race and it opened up a whole new world for me. I lost the weight, got in shape, got through the race, and opened myself to other mud races.
I wanted to continue to motivate others and inspire those that are going through a breast cancer diagnosis. Doing so, I was highlighted in 2016 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on News 12 Brooklyn, which sparked so many viewers on Instagram and Facebook. They appreciated my story and it was relatable. I was able to reach those that were going through a similar journey.
I was happy to secure a new job that would expand my involvement in the fight against breast cancer. I now work as the Senior Community Development Manager of MEGA Events in Brooklyn for the American Cancer Society. A week ago we kicked off our Making Strides of Brooklyn walk for the first time held in Coney Island Boardwalk/MCU Stadium which was a great success! I am truly humble and grateful for this opportunity to directly impact survivors in helping the FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER. It will be my mission in life to fight for a cure and what better way to advocate.
My motto is “Don’t let Cancer get in the way of your Life, Let your Life get in the way of Cancer”.