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Carleen's Story

A life-changing routine office visit

In June of 2016, at the age of 57, Carleen Cornford was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I made an appointment at the clinic because I needed to have a prescription refilled. My clinic provider, Susan McMillan, performed a breast exam and detected a lump. She immediately directed me to Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center for a 3D™ mammogram. The next day I was having a biopsy; a mastectomy a week later,” she recalled.

Shocking diagnosis

The diagnosis was an incredible shock to Carleen, since she had recently had a mammogram and she doesn’t have a strong family history of breast cancer.

“I just wasn’t as concerned as I should have been. I wish that I had made self-exams more of a priority. I wish I would have taken more time to care for myself.”

Carleen considers herself fortunate because she didn’t have to go through chemotherapy. But when it comes to cancer, there are many things that encompass the whole experience – more than just the medicine.

I am stronger

“The experience has changed me for the rest of my life," Carleen shared. "I am stronger than I ever would have expected. I never thought I would have been able to go through all of this, but here I am and I did it; I made it through it.”

Take time to care for yourself

Like many women, Carleen’s life is busy. After the diagnosis, she has one message to share with women everywhere – take time to care for yourself.

“Life is busy. Mothers are incredibly busy. It’s too easy to put self-exams or mammograms on the back burner. Don’t just think that it’s going to happen to someone else and it will never happen to you. I want women to go out there and schedule your exams. It’s not just one more thing to do. It needs to be a top priority.”

Through a donation to the Crossing Rivers Health Foundation, you can make a difference in the lives of friends, neighbors, and the ones you love.

Donate to the Crossing Rivers Health Foundation

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