Profession: Retired Miami Dade County Correctional Officer
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage II Breast Cancer
Number of years as a survivor: 20 years
Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Race Participant
My 20 year journey has given me strength and courage to live life to the fullest.
I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer on June 18, 1996. However, from the time my maternal grandmother lost her battle to breast cancer, my family was vigilant about cancer. Since then, my brother and four sisters, faithfully complied with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Especially my sisters and I, and we started by having annual mammograms at the young age of 30.
Even though I was the first diagnosed, two of my sisters are also Breast Cancer Survivors. God must have smiled down upon us, because due to early detection none of us required chemotherapy or radiation. We knew that we didn’t want to be faced with cancer again, and at our own time, all decided to have mastectomies.
Cancer taught me to trust all of my moments, and to stay open to their message. I’ve learned very well how to get back up after being knocked down again and again; especially with the multiple diagnosis in my family. I have plenty of resilience in me, my mother’s majestic strength and voice always reminds me to press on. This has been about the journey for me, in overcoming unexpected obstacles and refusing to accept the average. I know now that adversity in any form is all in how you summon your strength in response. My journey made me tougher, more resourceful, more empathetic and more grateful for the good things that come my way. I look at life from a different point of view.
During times when I need strength, I look back at how far I’ve come instead of focusing on what might happen. I have learned that God blesses me with peace and purpose even in the storms of life. This attitude created the momentum I need for my everyday life. I have a grateful heart despite of my struggles and that gratitude has help build my faith. I strongly believe: To God Be The Glory!