Kelly Hoefler

At age 50 I was divorced, single, and trying to make it on my own with two beautiful children after 23 years of marriage. I was doing all of the normal yearly health checkups, but then came the diagnosis of breast cancer.

The first thing I thought was, who will take care of my children? ME, was the answer.

No matter how difficult I thought it might be, I had to do it. So onward I went. A lumpectomy showed my lymph nodes were fine, and I wondered if I was done. Unfortunately, the biopsy showed I had precancerous cells everywhere.

I cried for days. My children reached out to their mom with their loving arms, but still I cried and cried. Then I finally said, “You will be okay. The kids need you.

I had a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Six years later I am still doing great.

Ladies, please: get your yearly mammogram. It saves lives. It saved mine.

Tell Your Story: Whether you’re a patient, survivor, caregiver, or loved one touched by cancer, your story can have an enormous impact; you can provide hope and inspiration to someone who has recently been diagnosed with cancer or a patient undergoing therapy.