We are now halfway through October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Our PINK campaign is still in full force and we have been getting a great response. With new members, t-shirt sales and even extra donations, we have already raised nearly $600 to donate back to breast cancer research. Some of our efforts have also prompted others to share their stories with us, and we are so grateful for that! We know that this disease is far reaching and has affected so many people. It is our sincere hope that we can all collectively strive to increase awareness and prevention. Today, we have a story of another victorious fighter and we are excited to celebrate her.
Things are different when you grow up knowing that your grandmother had fallopian tube cancer, that your mother also had fallopian tube cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. That is how she grew up though and Terri Ahfield knew from a very early age that she too had the gene putting her at high risk for all three types of cancer. But when she felt lumps in her armpit at age thirty-five, she thought it was way too early. When she first visited her doctor, the direction she got was to stop shaving her armpits. Terri even laughed when sharing that piece of information because she knew it was something more. She pushed a little harder with the doctor and was able to receive a referral to see a surgeon. As soon as the surgeon saw her arm, he immediately gave her the news that she expected.
Terri had Stage 3 breast cancer as a single mom. She was not shocked by the news; she was surprised though at how far along it was. Her son was nine years old and her daughter was thirteen. Terri was working as a server at AJ Spurs and also as a dental assistant. She said when she met with her oncologist, she remembers walking right in and saying, “Do what you gotta do, I’m not done being a mom yet.” She had nineteen cancerous lymph nodes removed and endured eight rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. She continued to work and raise her kids, since she didn’t have much of a choice as a single mother. She fought through the treatment and ended up receiving a double mastectomy. Two years later, Terri decided to have a full hysterectomy that would completely eliminate all body parts that her family gene targets. “I’ve always felt kind of lucky that I could just remove the parts at risk for me. If it were brain cancer, that would have been a different story.” Her perspective is incredibly positive and admirable!
Terri said, “I feel like being young, healthy and active gave me an advantage in my battle.” She continues to be active today and maintains her health. While she doesn’t typically participate in many cancer-related events, she is happy to share her story with us and help increase awareness. Terri’s message to other women is “Know yourself and fight for yourself. No one will fight for you. If you know something is wrong, make them fix it!” Her story is also another good reminder not to assume that you are too young and that getting checked annually is very important. Terri has been cancer free for eight years now and her battle is firmly in her past.
GIVE Fitness still has exclusive Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts available for sale at the gym and 50% of all sales will be donated back to breast cancer research. We will also continue donating 50% of all new member card fees during the month of October. Let’s keep working together to GO PINK this month and do our part in this fight against cancer!