Breast cancer survivor beats cancer at young age
About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime. Susan G. Komen hopes to reduce that number by investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.
"Cancer is death or my life as I knew it was over. I would not have children, the first couple of doctor's appointments were super scary," Jennifer Bell Riley, breast cancer survivor said.
That was Jennifer Bell Riley's reaction when she first found out she had breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 2000 at 28 years old after feeling a lump and getting some tests done.
"At that time, I was the only person that my doctor had seen under the age of 35, it was very uncommon," Riley said.
Riley said when the doctors were coming up with her treatment plan, she felt like everything they offered took everything she wanted off the table.
"I think that when you're diagnosed with breast cancer, it changes you medically, but sometimes other things in life becoming more pressing, they become sharper," Riley said.
What was a very long process for Riley, is now usually simpler thanks to research, testing, and science advancements.
"Breast cancer is not the life changing, your life is going to change permanently event that it used to be," Riley said.
Riley is a survivor and went on to get married and have two kids.
"So far every year has been clear, but I got in every year for my mammogram. I'm very serious about that," Riley said.
The "More than Pink Walk" happening on Saturday, brings survivors and the community together in the fight.
"The walk is just super important to survivors because I think you have that moment in time you give yourself permission to just think about what you've been through and where you've come. You know when you're with a group of survivors, you kind of just cut all of the formalities and you get down to like, it gets real basic real fast," Riley said.
This year, survivors will receive a pink bead for every year they've prevailed.
"It's really really sweet and impactful just to see how they interact with each other and come together as a community whether they have one strand of bead or or 75 strands of beads," Libby Linker, Susan G. Komen community development director said.
The walk is at Makenzie Park starting at 8:15 a.m. One of the new features this year is four educational pillars where you can learn about the research, care, community, and action Susan G. Komen provides. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds go to research and the rest stays in Lubbock to provide needed services.
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