Amy McGorry: Even if you have never been touched by breast cancer, you probably already know that it's a live altering experience in many ways, but what about what it can teach you? Today, breast cancer survivors share their powerful stories with us as a source of inspiration and support for others whose lives have been affected by the disease.
Ericka Laundau: Cancer has taught me to take better care of myself. It taught me how very strong I am, it taught me the real priorities in life, it taught me that giving up is never an option, no matter how hard it gets.
Jeanne Hansford: Through my experience I learned that my hope filled spirit was more healing and powerful than the cancer that had invaded my body.
Mary Rose Savarese: I had to find ways to stay positive, strong and find where my beauty was. I thought my long hair and eyelashes define my beauty. But I learned that beauty was not on the outside. But it was truly inside my heart.
Debbie Persaud: Cancer taught me to honor and nourish my body as if my life depends on it, because it does, I now have a different relationship with food, I pay more attention to what I eat, whether I feel good or not, I exercise everyday, I still enjoy running marathons and playing tennis. I focus on giving my best everyday.
Jeanne Hansford: I learned that I must know my body and be proactive in keeping myself healthy. If I haven't noticed the change in my breast and been proactive to have it checked by my doctor, I probably wouldn't be here today to tell my story. I learned and want to emphasize to others how important it is to know your body and when you feel something or sense something different, say something.
Mary Rose Savarese: Cancer in itself is life changing physically but everyone who is diagnosed gets to choose how to move forward in their journey. I chose to live it with a positive outlook.
Debbie Persaud: Cancer is what's happening to me, it's not who I am. I may not have control over whether my breast cancer grows or shrinks, but I do have control over how I react in my situation.
Ericka Laundau: I want to teach everyone who goes through this not to do it alone. I want to teach them how to eat better and exercise and how not to ever give up. I am here, after 10 years, grateful for every moment I have with my family, my patients and my students.
Mary Rose Savarese: Cancer taught me whatever the fight I am worth every ounce of the struggle. I am going to be proud of who I am, so what if I had cancer, I have one life and I am going to live it to the fullest, because I am still useful and beautiful and I am worth it.