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Trish Westphal's Story

It was Spring of 2007. I went in for my normal annual check-up and mammogram. As it turned out, it was anything but normal ...

It was Spring of 2007. I went in for my normal annual check-up and mammogram. As it turned out, it was anything but normal. I remember the day like it was yesterday. When I heard the words no one ever wants to hear... "you have cancer". The first words out of my mouth, My Grandkids, they are too little to go through this. From that point I knew the fight was on. What a fight it was going to be and I was going to win. From my first visit to my oncologist, I noticed a sign on Making Strides. I made it my goal to walk in this event. Little did I know at that time, that I was going to have 18 surgeries and months of chemo.

Each treatment I could feel I was slipping and the chemo was taking its toll. Losing all my hair, losing my toe nails, neuoropathy in my feet, and breathing was difficult. At last, the final treatment came and I was done. It just happened to be two weeks before the walk. Everyone told me that I should maybe wait until next year. My first thought was that they were right but the more I thought about it I knew I had to walk or cancer will have won this battle.

Family and friends backed my decision and said they were walking too. They took the long route, I took the short. They were all waiting at the finish line when I finally took that last step. I did it and haven't missed a year since.

My team now, "Garage's Army of Angels", has grown quite large. We raised over $17,000 last year and hope to do the same this year.

Women, I can't say it enough times, get your mammograms yearly. I had no history of cancer in my family. Early detection saves lives. I am so grateful for my doctors, my family, my friends and my ACS friends. They were my life line.

I wish you courage and good health. God Bless.

Every person who walks in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event has a reason for walking - and every person touched by cancer has a story to tell. These stories remind us that the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is more than a walk. It describes the progress we're making together to save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Below are personal stories we hope will inspire you to join us in making strides to end breast cancer!

Click one of the headlines below to read more Stories of Hope:

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