Two years ago, I heard two of the scariest words a woman will ever hear: breast cancer. My world felt like it was going to come crashing down.
But then, I found hope. I joined the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, an inspirational 5K walk, which takes place every October in our community to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. Through my participation, I’ve met dozens of other breast-cancer survivors in all stages of treatment, many who have gone on to live long and fulfilling lives.
I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and faced it head on and as aggressively as my body could take it. It was important to me to fight with all my might to increase my chances of survival and be alive to see my daughters become happy, independent adults. They lost their father to cancer when they were young, so I decided to fight back.
I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Yes, it was difficult, but thanks to the tests and treatments that we have access to today, I am cancer-free and celebrating life every day.
Seeing other survivors at the walk gives me the confidence that we will defeat the disease.
More than 178,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and more than 40,000 will die from the disease.
I am lucky to be one the survivors, and I walk because I don’t want my daughters, Camille and Tabitha, to ever hear the words, “You have breast cancer.”
At 9 a.m., Oct. 13, I plan to be beside fellow survivors, friends and family at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Miami’s Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami. I urge everyone in South Florida to join me, Miami-Dade Deputy Mayor/County Manager Alina Hudak, who serves as the 2013 event chair, and breast cancer survivors: “Put on your pink bra” and make strides toward a future where breast cancer no longer exists.
Bibiana Salmon, breast-cancer survivor
and community advocate,