Sherri, Breast
Middleburg Heights, OH

"Each day, I am constantly reminded of this diagnosis. Although, I am a survivor, my life and maybe my health will never be as it once was.  I am fortunate to have family and friends around me to give me hope and strength.  However, there are many who do not."  

On December 29, 2011, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Today, to my knowledge, there is no family history of this illness.  As a single mother of three, this diagnosis had totally altered the world as I knew it.  Like many, I started planning for the worst to happen - getting finances together for my children, policies, etc.   I dealt with this internally and independently – Why?  That was who I am – a very independent person and the more I spoke of what I was going through with others, the more real it became and I didn’t want to face it.

My first surgery was January 27, 2012 (right mastectomy w/ DIEP flap reconstruction (14 hour procedure).  Many family and friends gathered around me to help me and my children prepare before the procedure and well after.  I remember being told that everyone’s experience with breast cancer is like book where we are the author.  By seeing the love and support from those surrounding, I started to rewrite my story and planned for a brighter outcome.  

With this said, the year of 2012 resulted in additional surgeries, chemotherapy, physical therapy and a lot of other issues that developed through this diagnosis.  After which, I coined the year 2013 as my start of my “self-renovation” plan.  This led me to start living a happier life and cherishing the time I have with my children, family, and friends.  In addition, I took the initiative to start living for me by no longer holding off on the goals I wanted to achieve.  

"It is amazing how things happen in our lives to give us the strength to live.  I hope that you can join me in one of the ways I want to give back to the breast cancer community through this initiative. Although, I am not happy that I acquired breast cancer, I am happy with all that I am learned because of it."