Sarah is a 39-year-old breast cancer survivor from Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tell us about yourself.
I was an editor at Ole Miss before having twins, but after spending several years being a full-time stay-at-home-mom, I'm now a family and children photographer in North Carolina.
When were you diagnosed?
Diagnosed in March 2005, eight months after our sons were born. I'm the fourth generation in my family to have breast cancer and have the BRCA1 genetic mutation.
How has cancer changed your outlook on life?
Cancer changed a great deal in my life. Mainly, now I try to live such that I have no regrets and am much more likely to take risks if there's a possibility of happiness involved. In addition, cancer spurred a career change that allows me to be creative and fulfilled while giving others joy at the same time; what could be better than that?
What words of encouragement would you share with others with cancer?
I found that the scariest part was being newly diagnosed, when you don't know anything aside from that You Have Cancer. Get through those dark days, find yourself a medical team that you click with, that you trust to fight for you when you might not be up to it, and together build a game plan to fight the cancer. Also, accept and ask for help from family and friends, even if it's hard to ask for help. And hearing your children’s laughter is amazing incentive to keep going!
Support this non-profit in honor of Sarah:
Young Survival Coalition, youngsurvival.org
Their online message boards were a tremendous help to me at just about every stage. I was the youngest breast cancer patient at my oncologist's in Oxford and finding the women at YSC gave me a great deal of comfort.
Please support those battling breast cancer by donating.