Beth is a 49-year-old breast cancer survivor from Hazel Green, Alabama.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been an Executive Assistant for 22 years at a DVD Manufacturing and Distribution Facility. I have an incredibly loving 20-year-old son who attends college full-time, and I am also blessed with the most loving and caring mom and dad who live close by. I lost my only sister at age 42 to cancer in 2001 and hold her forever in my heart. I love Alabama Crimson Tide football, the beach, and spending all the time I can with my family and friends.
When were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 at the age of 37 after having my very first mammogram. My whole life changed as I underwent a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. I realized the love and overwhelming support I had in my family and friends. I took time to be thankful for and appreciate the things I had taken for granted, to focus back on my faith in God that my parents had so instilled in my life. To love and fight like I never had fought before.
How has cancer changed your outlook on life?
I tried to use my diagnosis as an opportunity and not a "sickness.” Everywhere I went, I was preaching mammograms and early detection to everyone, I pulled my wig off and let the girls rub my head, I wore scarves, ball caps proudly, even showing my scar of victory if someone was really scared! I loved, laughed, and cried with every patient and every person I came into contact with during countless doctors’ appointments. That became my life.
What words of encouragement would you share with others with cancer?
I have talked to many newly diagnosed cancer patients, including my own mother as of just this year. It's hard, it's tough, it doesn't seem fair at times but I will tell anyone it may be a fight but it can be won! I feel very fortunate to be able to talk about my journey and encourage others to be strong, to have faith, to hold your head high, and fight back. I will never stop fighting for my sister and so many friends I have lost along the way.
Support this non-profit in honor of Beth:
Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at Huntsville Hospital, lizhurleyribbonrun.org
Please support those battling breast cancer by donating.