AUGUSTA (WJBF) – A two-time breast cancer survivor and local photographer uses her career to feature other survivors on an art wall at AU Health.

“Breast cancer’s like a 98% cure rate when it’s caught early.”

Marilyn Botta was diagnosed with breast cancer twice. 

“I was only 34, that was a while back and uh, they caught it early– obviously ‘cause I’m still here, and um it was rather shocking. And um, I had a lumpectomy at that time and radiation,” Botta said. 

Botta says after some surgery and other steps to recovery, she was cancer free and never thought she would get it again. 

“In my mind I had this feeling that ‘oh, okay now I’m immune, you know since I already had it, that’s it.’”

Though her second diagnosis was stronger, Botta said the two diagnoses were not related to each other. 

“Recurrence is when you end up with metastatic cancer, it’s just, it was completely new.”

Botta says she enjoys photography, so joining Chicks That Click came naturally.

“That helped me a lot, you know I did, I do a lot of still-lifes in the studio– and I do, but throughout that I did a lot of self portraits.” 

Botta says she continued to do things she did before her diagnosis, photography being the main thing, and she used social platforms to showcase it. 

“Cause originally when I found out I was like, you know, I don’t want anyone to know about it. I don’t– you know– I’m just gonna hide it. Then I said, wel wait a minute, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. So, I just posted it and I just got a lot of support from my friends on Facebook.”

Botta says early detection is key and it can all start with a self-check.