In 2002, Theresa’s life took an unexpected turn when her sister received a breast cancer diagnosis at the young age of 37. On Theresa’s 32nd birthday, her sister underwent surgery, marking the beginning of a journey that would later intertwine with Theresa’s own. Little did she know that breast cancer would cast its shadow over her family, impacting Theresa’s mother and ultimately shaping her destiny.
The following year, in 2003, Theresa’s mother faced her own battle with breast cancer at the age of 62. This marked the inception of annual screenings for Theresa, where she would repeatedly hear how young she was until healthcare professionals delved into her family history. Breast cancer had become a recurring theme on both sides of Theresa’s family, a silent yet potent presence in their lives.
While Theresa’s sister triumphed over breast cancer, it was unveiled to be a precursor to Multiple Sclerosis. She has been waging a battle against MS ever since, confined to a wheelchair but resilient in spirit. Meanwhile, Theresa’s mother’s cancer metastasized, spreading to her bones. In 2009, at the age of 69, she succumbed to the disease, leaving behind a legacy of strength and a family forever changed.
Having witnessed the devastating impact of breast cancer on her loved ones, Theresa lived with the knowledge that it wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when” she would face her own battle. Rigorous annual screenings became her routine from the age of 31, a proactive measure in the face of an inevitable adversary. In October 2017, the inevitable arrived—Theresa was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts.
November 2017 saw Theresa undergoing surgery, and by December of the same year, she commenced radiation therapy. A journey marked by strength, resilience, and the unwavering support of loved ones unfolded. For five years, Theresa adhered to Hormone Therapy medication, a crucial component of her treatment. Recently, she celebrated the removal of this medication, a significant milestone in her path toward recovery.
Through Theresa’s harrowing experience, one lesson resonates—the pivotal role of early detection. Survival hinged on catching the cancer in its infancy. Early detection translates to higher survival rates, a testament to the importance of regular screenings and proactive healthcare measures.
Today, Theresa proudly aligns herself with the cause that holds profound significance in her life—Making Strides. This annual event has become more than a walk; it symbolizes resilience, hope, and the collective strength of those affected by breast cancer. As she steps forward every year, Theresa carries the stories of her sister, her mother, and her own journey—a narrative of pain, triumph, and the enduring spirit that propels her forward. Today, Theresa shares her story not only as a survivor but as an advocate for early detection, a staunch supporter of Making Strides, and a living testament to the indomitable spirit that can rise from the depths of adversity.