CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and across the Lowcountry hospitals and local groups are taking the time to recognize survivors and fighters.
According to the National Breast Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes.
Patricia Simon is one of those women.
She works as a program director for Trident Healthcare now, and has decades of experience as a nurse. Her background in medicine helped save her life:
“I found the lump myself, during a breast exam.”Patricia Simon
A diagnosis she had been dreading her entire life:
“My mother was diagnosed when she was 40, and she actually passed away when she was 42. So I became more diligent, with breast exams, I was in nursing school at the time.”Patricia Simon
Despite the jarring news, Simon was determined to beat the disease:
“I had a six-year-old and an eight-year-old boy at home, and my husband was in the Navy in a submarine away, and so back then…I was very scared.”Patricia Simon
Her persistence in checking, gave her an early advantage against the cancer, so that she didn’t become a statistic herself:
“I knew what I was in for, which was a mastectomy, but to save my life, that was a good thing.”Patricia Simon
Now, she helps other patients at Trident Hospital:
“If I can impact any person’s life, even one person’s life, and that’s important to me.”Patricia Simon
During this Breast Cancer Awareness month, Simon asks women to remember how crucial regular breast examinations are:
“I hear it every day: ‘Oh I’m just going to wait, I’ll just get one next year, because everything seems to be fine.’ We really should not do that.”Patricia Simon
Patty is now one of the over three million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. and spends much of her time advocating and raising awareness for the disease.