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Roxanne M.

On Nov. 1, 2010, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, just a week after learning I was pregnant. Within days of learning I was going to be a mother, my entire life was flipped upside down. Based on the size, grade and aggressiveness of my tumor, my medical team recommended a treatment plan that included an immediate mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy - all while pregnant. Delaying treatment until after the pregnancy was not a viable option. After much research and prayer, I decided to move forward with the treatment plan during pregnancy and began the fight of my life while bringing a new life into the world.

I underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy while pregnant. As if losing my hair and breasts weren't enough, I also lost my job. My full-time employer terminated me while I was out recovering from the mastectomy. Pregnant with breast cancer, I initially didn't know how I would make it. However, it wasn't long at all before a nationwide team of supporters, nicknamed "Team Roxy", spearheaded and organized fund-raising events for my medical treatment and Cobra insurance premiums. With the help of Team Roxy and nonprofit organizations, including Susan G. Komen and Cancer Care Services, I was able to maintain my health coverage and get through treatment.

Meanwhile, I used my time between appointments and treatments to prepare for the new baby, do freelance work and volunteer at my local Susan G. Komen affiliate. I organized a race team and completed the Greater Fort Worth Race for the Cure 5K just days after my seventh round of chemo and while seven months pregnant. Crossing that finish line was very uplifting.

Little did I know that I would soon cross another finish line. A week later, on the day scheduled to be my final chemo treatment, I instead went into early labor at 32 weeks and delivered a baby girl we named Serenity. Born premature but perfectly healthy, Serenity arrived to let me know that we had won the fight. The following month, my scans came back clear with no evidence of disease. I went on to undergo a preventive mastectomy of the remaining breast just six months later.

November 1, 2018 was my 8-year cancerversary (anniversary of my diagnosis). I am blessed to still be cancer-free. My daughter, Serenity, is now a healthy 7-year-old and has not shown any side effects of chemo at all. I now lead a local breast cancer support group and am greatly involved in the breast cancer community, serving as a Champion for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, a Young Advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Education Chair for the Komen FWYP.

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