Ilene Fabisch was on her way to Disney World when she got the news she had breast cancer: “it completely blindsided me.” She had no family history, ate clean (mostly vegan) and even competed in triathlons. In fact, she had just completed one a month prior. Though she had never gotten regular mammograms, Ilene did feel a lump under her arm in the shower and felt compelled to go to the doctor.

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For years Joelle Lieman diagnosed women with lumps and bumps. As an OBGYN, she was familiar with the difficulty of handing out scary news. She never anticipated it would happen to her, but at 39 years old she found a lump in her breast. Her husband encouraged her to use her diagnosing experience to keep a cool head: “he said, ‘what would you tell your patients?’ to which I responded, ‘there is a low chance that at 39 it’s cancer.’”

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Lawanda’s electric energy is impossible to miss. Sit with her for sixty seconds and you feel enveloped in her warmth. It’s a feeling she is hoping to spread: “Although I continue to fight the fight, while on this journey, I want to inspire, I want to encourage, I want to motivate. Breast Cancer is what happened to me. It is not my identity. I remind myself every day I am on this journey- I am who God says I am. I am approved, I am accepted, I am valuable, I am a masterpiece AND I am a child of the Most High God!”

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At 31 years old Kathryn Selinga was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. It was a shocking diagnosis. Very privately, she received treatment and attempted to move on with the rest of her life. After all, she was in her young thirties and was about to buy her first home with her husband. The universe, however, had other plans and at 34 years old, Kathryn was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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