- Age: 40
- Profession: Nuclear Plant Records Technician
- Type of Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- Number of years as a survivor: 4 years
- Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Race for the Cure Team Leader
My name is Beth and I am a breast cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed at age 36. I worked full-time, was a wife, and the mother of three boys. I did not have time for cancer, cancer was not in my game plan.
I was a girly girl who wasn’t sure how to fight, but I quickly learned fighting was my only option. I learned I had two choices – I could fall down crying every day or I could get up, put my gloves on and “fight like a girl.” My husband and boys were my motivation. At the time of my diagnosis, my youngest was 3 ½ years old. I knew he would not understand if he saw me crying. My older boys were teenagers, and I didn’t want them to see any sign of weakness from me. I remember at the time telling my husband that “there is no crying in cancer. If I’m not crying, neither will you.” With that understanding between us he became my biggest cheerleader. I tried to stay focused on “strength” and drew that from all the support from my family, friends and co-workers. In February 2011, I underwent a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who was eight months ahead of me in her treatments. She was there for me every step of the way. I will always remember on the day of my surgery, walking out of the exam room to find both she and her husband there. I knew then that I was not alone. I decided then in my “pink journey” that my story would be an open book. I feel that if I can reach one person who would not have otherwise had a mammogram, if I can give one cancer patient hope, if my story reaches one person that can identify and know that they too can fight and win that SURVIVOR title, then sharing my story has been worth it.
For the last four years, I have been Team Captain for my FPL Business Unit at the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race for The Cure®. Together we have raised more than $15,000. I have seen personally what Komen gives back to my community and look forward to continuing to support their cause. Today, STRENGTH = SURVIVOR for me.