In this month's Buddy Check 6 report, we meet a woman who found her breast cancer early and now she's sharing her story encouraging other women to do the same.
News Channel Six's Kimberely Scott has more.
After her yearly mammogram, Renee Hinson says doctors found a lump in her left breast, which turned out to breast cancer. She says the procedure saved her life.
"The year before there was nothing there, I showed up with a 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 centimeter mass."
Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45, Renee found the strength to be a survivor and a thriver.
"Listening to other women's stories I think gave me the permission to not be a victim, and to put on my warrior suit and go to war. I did have my breakdowns and I would cry, kick, scream, whatever I had to do and then I would go back to fighting the cancer."
Renee had a double mastectomy, reconstruction and oophorectomy. Finding the cancer early made a big difference in the treatment process.
"I did not have to have chemo because of the early detection, which I was so thankful for because my mother did have that and I saw what it did to her."
Today, Renee says she's stronger, wiser and excited by life. Also, hearing the stories of those who have gone before her, inspired Renee to tell her story.
"It was so important for me to have the stories. I went online, the research not only with the cancer but, seeing other stories of other women that have survived, it just helped me out so much."
Equipped with a new sense of purpose, Renee is planning a new career: she's heading to nursing school in the fall.
"I want to be a breast cancer navigator, unless God wants me to do something else. We'll see."
No matter the road ahead, this future navigator plans to follow the road where ever it leads.
If you are a breast cancer survivor and would like to share your story, contact University Hospital's Breast Health Center at 706-774-4141.
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