The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Young Survivors in Action program helps younger women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment pathways.
These young survivors have access to networking, support, education, and activities that encourage them to continue to survive and thrive. Young Survivors in Action takes a holistic approach to the activities, support, and education provided and encourages each survivor to continue to learn and grow encouraging them to keep moving forward and live their lives to the fullest!
For the next few weeks, Young Survivors in Action will highlight a few members of the group, sharing their story and promoting early detection in the fight against breast cancer along with the importance of loving yourself.
This week, YSIA would like you to meet Erica Saunders who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43. Her diagnosis came after she discovered a lump in her breast not long after running the Boston Marathon.
“Early detection is key! I immediately called my gynecologist who sent me to Helen Graham for an ultrasound and biopsy,” Saunders said. “I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. Going through the treatment process was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. It taught me patience. It deepened my faith in God and taught me how to be persistent with my prayers. I felt the love of God in a very tangible way through the outpouring of love and support from my friends and family. And, most importantly, it helped me discover an inner strength I never knew that I had!”
Saunders wished she had known to trust the process as she underwent treatment.
“Going through radiation treatment was painful,” Saunders said. “Doubt and fear of the unknown made it uncomfortable. Just breathe and take it day-by-day, one treatment at a time. No need in stressing over something you can’t control.”
What has helped Saunders get through the experience are the same things she says she leans on today.
“Faith, fitness, friends and my family,” she said. “I have always been an active person, so making time to move every day is an investment in my health. And never underestimate the power of a positive attitude! Proverbs 17:22 says that a merry heart does good like medicine.”
The mission of YSIA aligns with Saunders’ personal mantra that movement is medicine. She has enjoyed getting to know an amazing group of women.
“Cancer survivors are some of the strongest, most resilient women I know!” Saunders said.
To learn more about the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s programs or more about DBCC’s Young Survivors in Action Program, please visit www.debreastcancer.org/programs/survivor_programs. Be sure to like and follow DBCC’s Young Survivors in Action’s Facebook page @YoungSurvivorsinAction to stay up to date with upcoming events.