On January 3, 2020 Laura Allen got the call no one wants. It was from her doctor, letting her know she had stage 1 B breast cancer. At a time of year where people are focused on goal setting and fresh starts, Laura’s reality was one of shock and uncertainty.

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Nine years out from her breast cancer diagnosis, Tara Runnals is reflective about how far she has come in her journey: “so much about breast cancer and the diagnosis is trying to get back to normal and rebuilding your body from intense treatment.”

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At 66, Hilda is an incredible picture of health and style. Matched with her grace and confidence, one can’t help but be enamored with her. Her breast cancer journey is one of inspiration, proving that out of an unfortunate diagnosis can come incredible moments of life changing clarity.

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It sounds super cliche but my diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me. It forced me to take stock of what was really important to me and learn to count my blessings. It took some time for all of it to sink in, but it changed my life radically and all for the better.

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I often think that I do not have a story. But, when asked to share, I took some time to reflect on my journey. I am not sure it is possible to put into words how I have felt since receiving my diagnosis: grateful, guilty, scared, strong, anxious, hopeful to name a few but most of all loved and supported. I am so very blessed to be surrounded by my family and the most incredible people.

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Three years ago I walked out of the front doors of Mass General Hospital with a new baby- my third, George. He was ready to come home and I knew my time in the maternity ward had come to a close. My time at MGH, however, would be far from over; in fact, the hospital and I have a long history and a forever future in front of us.

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While 2020 has been particularly difficult for many of us, Rebecca Melendez’s has been uniquely so. This year marked the tenth anniversary of her mother’s passing from breast cancer. That, combined with turning 35, “flicked a switch” within Rebecca that has set the course for much of her year. BRCA positive herself, Rebecca’s health reality consists of check ups (mammograms and MRI’s) every sixth months.

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