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Fighting Breast Cancer – Breast Cancer survivor stories

breast cancer survivor stories

It’s Pink October and we are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness throughout this month. Through this blog, we have 5 inspiring breast cancer survivor stories to share today.

Table of Content:

  • Introduction
  • A little knowledge about breast cancer and how it can be prevented.
  • Inspiring Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
  1. Dana Donofree, 37
  2. Ghadeer Kunna, 49
  3. Gabriella Lima, 38
  4. Raquel Soeiro, 35
  5. Emma Rymer, 45
  • Summing up

Cancer has become extremely prevalent these days. And one of the most common cancer is breast cancer. All of us know someone who has been diagnosed with this deadly disease. And with cancer, most of the time, it is the fear that makes the patient more ill. Strong willpower goes a long way in battling cancer. So, we have come up with stories of some cancer warriors who have not only defeated the disease but are also living their life to the fullest. Read on to find out.

But, before we move on to the survivor stories, let’s get a little knowledge about breast cancer and how it can be prevented.

For a long time now, October has been all about breast cancer awareness. All thanks to the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries who launched this campaign in 1980. In the present day, throughout October, brands, and people across the world join hands to spread breast cancer awareness. Almost everything turns pink this month. But despite that, the fact is that breast cancer is still the second most common cancer worldwide. So we still have a long way to go. So what’s the way?

One good thing about breast cancer is that it is the survival rate is quite high. It is in fact, 91%, provided it is detected in the early stages. Doctors, therefore, suggest regular checkups and screening after one turns 30.

Apart from this, there are a few ways in which you can lower the risk of breast cancer. Following are the steps that you can take:

  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Lead a physically active life
  • Keep a check on your weight
  • Eat healthily
  • Stay away from birth control pills after you turn 35
  • Dodge postmenopausal hormone therapy

The sad news is, even after doing everything right, at times one falls prey to breast cancer. But, thanks to present-day treatments, your life doesn’t end because of breast cancer. Several women across the world have fought this disease head-on and emerged successfully. In fact, they have moved on to lead happy and inspiring lives. We bring to you 5 such heartening stories.

Inspiring Breast Cancer Survivor Stories

Dana Donofree, 37

Dana was 27 and in the midst of her wedding planning when she first noticed a lump in her breast. Just to be cautious, she went in for an ultrasound. A mammography followed it. And Dana got the terrible news that she had been dreading while she was shopping for her honeymoon. Along with chemotherapy, she also had to go for a bilateral mastectomy. Throughout, her finance stuck with her even though she tried her best to keep him away. Because of her treatment course, she had to postpone her wedding.

By the time the date finally came close, she realized that the intimate wears she had bought were of no use to her now. But being a fashion designer, she realized she had the means and skills to make her own intimate wear. And thus started her journey of helping breast cancer survivors keep their dignity and feminity intact. After working hard for three years, she finally launched her own lingerie company AnaOno in 2014. The company produces intimate wear for women who have gone through lumpectomies, mastectomy, and reconstruction breast surgery.

Ghadeer Kunna, 49

Ghadeer has always led a healthy lifestyle. She did everything right. Despite that, she found several lumps in her breast when she was 29 which was at first announced benign by her GP. But something told her that everything was not alright. She went for ultrasounds every four months and mammography annually. She diligently kept on doing this even when she shifted roots to UAE from California in 2006. Unfortunately, in 2013, she was diagnosed with a combative form of breast cancer. Her oncologist started her chemotherapy that very day.

Throughout her treatment, she was determined to not lose hope. There was a time when she had to go under the knife three times a year to get lumps removed. Finally, in September 2013, she opted for a double mastectomy. Now, after years of painful chemotherapy, the doctors have finally given her a clean chit. A short film, which was screened at the launch of 2015 Safe and Sound Breast Cancer Awareness in UAE, featured her story. Safe and Sound Breast Cancer Awareness is the middle east’s one of the most prominent breast cancer awareness campaigns

Gabriella Lima, 38

Gabriella, a successful lawyer from Brazil, was only 28 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Given her age and the fact that her family had no history of breast cancer, she went into a state of panic. Every time she went in for a test, a crippling fear grasped her. She finally deiced to defeat her fears. She promised herself that if she survives this, she would be eternally grateful all her life. Luckily, a mastectomy was all that she needed. The doctors removed the tumor before it spread. In her fight against cancer, she was lucky to have the support of her family and friends. One particular friend later became her husband. They are now living a happy and content life with a daughter.

Raquel Soeiro, 35

Raquel’s cancer journey has been extra tough. She was 12 weeks pregnant when her doctor broke the news to her. An outstanding make-up artist from Portugal, the doctor diagnosed her with invasive ductal carcinoma. A month later, she went for surgery and started her chemotherapy the following month. According to Soeiro, the fact that she was carrying her daughter gave her the strength to keep fighting. After giving birth, she went back to complete her chemo treatment. And she went for radiotherapy when her daughter was just three months old.

Soeiro describes her husband as the most amazing person and is eternally grateful for his support from day one. When she first found about her cancer and went on the web, she found very little information about breast cancer among pregnant women. This inspired her to form a group of Portuguese women named Careca Power. The women share their stories of strength here. She is still not cancer-free but is determined to fight it till the end. Soeiro describes her cancer journey as an amazing experience. She says it gave her the chance to meet wonderful people and is grateful for her life now.

Emma Rymer, 45

Emma was enjoying herself on a holiday when she first noticed a lump in her left breast. She immediately went for tests, and every time follow-up test brought along more bad news. After six months, a biopsy confirmed that she had stage two breast cancer. There were also additional lumps in her breast, which meant that she would have to go for a mastectomy.

Her biggest fear was that her seven-year-old son William will have to grow up without her. Her initial shock and sadness turned into anger, and she decided to fight cancer with all her willpower. After going through four months of chemo and a left mastectomy and hysterectomy, the doctors had more bad news for her in the form of her post-surgery result. Her cancer came back in a more aggressive form. She has been going through radio and chemotherapy. She gives all the credit of her immense spirit to keep on fighting for her support network.

Summing up,

Even after being the most common cancer among women, there is still very little awareness about it. A lot of women worldwide are unaware of the ways they can prevent this disease. To raise awareness for the same, we at LUBM have organized a free talk show. And we are extremely thankful to Dr. Kranti Deepak Jadhav for joining hands with us as a speaker of this show. Dr. Jadhav is a leading obstetrics and gynecologist. She had 14 years of work experience in this field. She has worked as a resident doctor at Nair Hospital, OBG specialist in BMC hospital, and consultant gynecologist at BSES Hospital Mumbai, India. The talk show, The Pink Talks: It’s time to go beyond Awareness will be held on 27th October at 3.30 pm on Zoom. Click here to join the event.









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