Our “A Calendar to Live By” features 11 survivors we serve through Here for the Girls programs and their inspiring, uplifting stories about their cancer journey. Get to know this month’s model, Kerri!
Age 50, Diagnosed at 46
2nd degree family history – no known genetic mutation
Women with fibrocystic breasts (prone to noncancerous cysts) often delay going to the doctor when they feel yet another breast lump. Lack of health insurance is another reason women hesitate to check out a concern. Both delayed Kerri’s diagnosis. She felt something in her breast, but after years of rushing panicked to the doctor for many benign lumps, she dismissed it. A year after discovering this lump and having gained health insurance, she had the lump examined. Kerri had stage III breast cancer, treated by chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, and radiation. Since her diagnosis, Kerri’s life has changed dramatically for the better. “I look AND think like a completely different person.” She had a great support system, including her Boober! sisters. She was encouraged being with so many women surviving breast cancer. Heartened by these experiences, Kerri began volunteering for Beyond Boobs! in Williamsburg. Upon returning to her hometown of Jacksonville, FL, she resolved to become a facilitator and bring BB! with her. “Rene Bowditch once told me something so important. My chemo-brain is blocking the exact words, but the gist of it was that ‘through helping others, the healing process can begin,’” Kerri remembers. “I love that! And that’s what I believe happened.”