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Mother, daughter share breast cancer experience and encourage early detection

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -Mothers and daughters sometimes fight with one another, but in this case, a mother and daughter are fighting together.

The battle, breast cancer.

For Samantha Napier, her journey began in 2019, when she noticed a lump in her breast. She quickly called her mother, Elsie.

“We felt nausea, we got into the doctor the next day, things moved,” said Elsie Napier.

Neither knew their lives would change forever.

At age 32, Samantha was diagnosed with stage three Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.

She’s undergone multiple chemos and radiation therapies, and several surgeries with one more to go.

“It does get difficult at times, but it’s not over,” said Samantha.

Samantha and Elsie Napier share their breast cancer journey.
Samantha and Elsie Napier share their breast cancer journey.(WALB)

She attributes her positivity and strength to her family, friends, faith, and staff at South Georgia Medical Center.

“But you know, as life is, life happens right. So in August of this year, I went in for a regular women’s health exam and I was asked if I wanted to have a 3D,” said Elsie.

Almost two years after Samantha’s diagnosis, Elsie received the same devastating news, she too had breast cancer.

“The thing that just took us by storm, even with Samantha’s diagnoses is that we don’t have any first-degree relatives ever diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Elsie.

They did a gene test, showing negative results.

“When I found out she was diagnosed, we just went through this two years ago. It was very mind-boggling, but I had to feel, let myself feel what I feel but I had to be strong because she was strong for me,” said Samantha.

Elsie says it’s hard to think about herself and the current situation when having a child who went through so much.

“Because I’m so appreciative and thankful for how well she is doing and for what yet great things to come and I know I feel like God brought her through and he’s going to do it again. I’m going to be just fine and if not, I’m going to be as happy as I can be because my child is just fine,” said Elsie.

Elsie is waiting for her treatment plan.

Samantha shares the most challenging part of the journey has been chemotherapy, losing her hair, seeing her body change, and lack of strength.

“It was a difficult journey but yes, my job then was to protect her and I think her now, her job is to protect me. We made it by the grace of God and we’re going to make it again this time,” said Elsie.

Now, the two share their story to let others know they’re not alone and hope to make a difference by encouraging early detection.

They emphasize the importance of knowing and listening to your body, getting annual exams, and trusting your instincts. No matter the age.

“We just have to keep it out there. If this will help somebody to know ' well I’m just getting in the shower tonight..let me see’ and do it every day. I just see my personal journey now just as an opportunity to be greater light to others,” said Elsie.

Elsie and Samantha continue to live their daily lives, staying active and taking it day by day with a positive attitude and strong faith.

Samantha and Elsie Napier share their breast cancer journey.
Samantha and Elsie Napier share their breast cancer journey.(WALB)

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