Breast cancer can strike anyone at any age, and finding the right support group can bring strength and friendship during diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
According to Dr. Milton Lennicx, a Radiologist at Southeast Alabama Medical Center, “a quarter of all breast cancers happen in your 30's and 40's and that's probably about 50 to 60 thousand cases a year.”
Kelli Cundith was 30 years old when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and on November 2nd she will celebrate her 5 year mark of being cancer free. Cundith says, “a cancer diagnosis at any age is devastating but I do think young women don't think that it can happen to them and it's just good to share your experiences with people that are going through the same thing at the same point in their life as you are.”
The "I'm Too Young for Breast Cancer" support group at Southeast Alabama Medical Center is designed for anyone who is going through cancer treatment. You don't have to be a patient at the medical center or even live in the area, everyone is welcome.
Ladonna Danford, the Nurse Navigator at SAMC states “it's just an hour to an hour and a half of them coming in and just forgetting about what they are going through and just sharing with each other. It's just amazing to see them.”
The once a month support groups help patients know that they're not alone and that others are going through a similar journey. Cundith states “I just can't begin to describe the relationships I've formed with people I didn't even know prior to my diagnosis and they are my best friends now.”
Looking back, Cundith says because of her battle with cancer she has learned to live life to it's fullest and does not take anything for granted and states that “Breast Cancer does not discriminate, men, women, twenty something, thirty, fifties, it doesn't matter, it can happen to you and you need to be realistic and be proactive and be vigilant with your healthcare.”
The support group takes place on the third floor of the Women’s Center at SAMC on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. There group is free and no registration is necessary. For more information, contact Ladonna Danford at (334) 699-8111 ext. 8459