On New Year's Eve, 2003, Crystal was on top of the world. The New Year brought both a wedding proposal and a great new job as a sales manager.
“Happy couldn't describe my feelings. As the year progressed, things seemed to be going great, but then October rolled around.”
Crystal had been active during Breast Cancer Awareness Month since her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years earlier. That October was very different, though. During a visit to her doctor, she found something she wanted to follow up on. Crystal’s doctor scheduled a mammogram and after that everything happened very quickly. Crystal went from exam to mammogram to biopsy to mastectomy within three weeks.
Since Crystal’s mother had been through this same process just 3 years earlier, she was ready to give Crystal all the support she needed.
“When I said they were going to send me for a mammogram, my mom said I’ll be there tomorrow. She was on a flight the next day and she made the process a lot easier for me. My mom was there to walk me through the entire time.”
After the mastectomy, Crystal began chemotherapy treatments. This took a huge toll on Crystal’s son.
“My son was not handling this well at all. At one point he began to pretend to vomit and imitate all of the side effects that he had seen me experience as a result of chemotherapy.”
Trying to comfort her son and plan a wedding and battle breast cancer was overwhelming for Crystal, but it also helped her discover a new clarity for what she wanted her future to be. One day in late 2007, Crystal decided it was time to do something different with her life, and she started searching for a way she could help others.
“In January of 2008, I walked out on faith and quit my job. I now work in the non-profit sector and it has been more than rewarding. I have found a new passion in my life, helping others!”
Crystal now works for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where every day she strives to help women just like her overcome their own battles with breast cancer. As a Pink Together Survivor Ambassador, she hopes to continue this outreach by showing everyone that there is life after breast cancer.
To read more about Pink Together Survivor Ambassadors visit www.pinktogether.com.
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