Age: 60Ava_Chipman
Profession: Retired Investigations Specialist
Type of Breast Cancer: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Stage 1
Number of years as a survivor: 15 years
Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Race Participant & Volunteer

I feel blessed to have survived breast cancer. Following a routine checkup, cancer was detected during its initial stages. In my case, the diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ came early enough where I didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation.

During my recovery, I thought that I must have done something right in my life because there was an amazing out pour of love and support. Family and friends offered more reassurance than I could imagine. During the long months of recovery, I was never left alone. The love and encouragement from my family was powerful and an utmost empowering tool for my healing. My loving husband and coworkers generously donated three months of sick time towards my recovery. I am forever grateful!

Unfortunately, there were times when my strength was tested. It pained me deeply that I was not able to hold my first, newborn granddaughter. When my second granddaughter was born I was even more determined to fight. I refused to give up on my life, I did not want to sit in the sidelines nor miss the accomplishments of my children. Until my diagnosis, I was blessed to see my daughter get her Master’s Degree in Business Administration, but my son was in 10th grade. I was determined to witness my son flourish. Once I recuperated, I was honored to see him graduate from high school.

I made the decision to not allow this disease to rob me of my freedom. I forgave people, I asked forgiveness. I learned to purge negativity and stress. I no longer allow insignificant details to affect me. My family relationships and many of my friendships are stronger. I learned and have such an incredible sense of peace.

Since my recuperation, I found my calling was to serve others. I have a sense of fulfillment that comes from helping and being able to volunteer with organization that aspire to make a difference. My church and my Christian faith mean very much to me.

Love brought me through my journey with breast cancer. I am forever grateful for everyone in my life who stood both beside, and at times, stood for me. I feel blessed to have survived breast cancer.