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Inspiration, hope and support from survivors - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

Inspiration, hope and support from survivors

EVERY year, an estimated two million women around the world face the incredibly devastating news of a breast cancer diagnosis. But beyond these numbers and the stories of consternation and desolation that often dominate the media spotlight are stories of joy and survival. These stories are fuelled by the warring spirit, the strength and perseverance of women who have fought valiantly and won their battles against the disease fingered as the second leading cause of death in women.

Certainly, as is the case of someone with any other affliction, for women in the breast cancer community, there is no doubt that hearing from others who have been right where they are can be a great source of comfort and support.

As such, this week we share words of inspiration, hope and support from women who are on a mission to inspire, inform and empower women battling the disease.

Name: Elorine Turner Pryce
Age at diagnosis: 48
Stage at diagnosis: 2
Number of years cancer free: Celebrating seven years

“Overcomers live in the moment of gratitude and hope. Being healthy means pursuing those steps that will promote balance in a holistic way. This means choosing to be positive and understanding that tomorrow is another day with another opportunity. It means exercising the best physical activity plan that will propel you ahead, giving you the best chance of a turnaround daily. It also means understanding that loving you and living in love is an extension of that love that your heavenly father has for you. Remember that you are a product of your lifestyle — live healthy, live in the abundance of God's blessings and His spirit. Pray without ceasing and never give up the fight. Stay in the fight until the final round. Never give up, never give in and never go under. You are not alone, there are others like you. Remind yourself always, as I have, that you are an overcomer!''

Name: Sheryl White
Age at diagnosis: 37
Stage at diagnosis: 1
Number of years cancer free: Celebrating 13 years

''Dear sister, whether you are in the breast cancer community or otherwise touched by the disease, remember that you are allowed to feel down, but it is important that you don't dwell on it. Find your happy place, whether it may be your kids, family and channel your faith, find yourself a support group especially if you don't have an immediate support system. Once you have all these things in place, focus on just living life to the fullest while taking care of yourself. It's not an easy road, but fight like there is no tomorrow.”

Name: Diana Samuda Hines
Age at diagnosis: 43
Stage at diagnosis: 2
Number of years' cancer-free: Celebrating 12 years

“When I went to Kingston Public Hospital and they revealed that my lump was cancerous, I immediately said God, I am sure that this is not what you want from me but I said God if it is my testing, test me. God, I have confidence that you will take care of things.

I remember being discouraged by some. I was told that surgery, chemotherapy, radiation was terrible, but I had confidence in God. Ladies, you have to keep Jesus at the head of your lives and fight with everything in you. I am encouraging every woman who is currently fighting breast cancer to remember that putting your body through stress will only feed cancer; as difficult as it may be, try not to stress or worry over it — pray, have faith in God and believe in Him because with God all things are possible. In all fairness though, the fight would have been much harder without the support of my family, church family, and the medical staff who was in charge of my care. It is a journey that would be much lonelier and harder alone. So lean on the people who offer support to you; even if you don't feel up to it, their strength will strengthen you.“

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