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As an active 29-year-old from Racine, Samantha never thought that she could be at risk for breast cancer. She worked out four times a week and lived a generally healthy lifestyle. When she noticed a lump in her breast, she was 99% sure that is was not cancer. “My general doctor said that it wasn’t cancer either. I went to a radiologist and got the same response and was told to come back in six months,” Samantha explains. As a precaution, she got the lump in her armpit removed. It was because of that surgery that she found out three days later that she had cancer and her once calm life became filled with doctor’s appointments and treatments.
One of the most challenging parts of her journey was that telling her family that she had cancer. “With all the beginning appointments, I tried to be tough for my family. We are in the same boat and we had to move forwards. So, I tried to keep pressing forward and be strong for them.” However, their endless support, as well as the support system she found through Komen, helped Samantha get through these difficult times.
Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin also helped her financially, which took some of the pressure off in this time. With all the different bills coming in at once, Samantha and her husband were overwhelmed and unsure of how they were going to make ends meet. However, Komen provided her with grant money that was used to help pay for co-payments, insurance premiums and other bills so that Samantha could focus less on her financial situation and more on getting better. “If I didn’t have help from Komen, I would have waited to have my surgery. It’s kind of life or death.”
Samantha stopped radiation just before bringing in 2015. She says that she is excited to focus more on getting back to normal life. This includes spending time with her big extended family, scrapbooking, enjoying the summer outside and maybe even go on a vacation.