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Profile in Courage: Donna Carroll

Donna Carroll is a fighter and a survivor.

Diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before her 35th birthday, she says she discovered the disease on her own.

Even though there was no history of breast cancer in her family, Carroll says she felt sure something was wrong. After several aspirations and a

biopsy, Carroll was told she had Stage 3 breast that had spread to the back of her rib cage. Knowing she needed to make immediate chemotherapy, followed by thrity-five days of radiation.

“My nurse told me, ‘It’s going to take a year of your life so just be prepared to hit the ground running, and that’s what I was able to do,” Carroll said, adding, “It was a struggle, but I’m here to tell the story that ‘God is good.’” Carroll said it wasn’t the Chemo that made her nauseous but the medications that she had to take a couple of days following it that made her feel as if she couldn’t continue. She says fighting the cancer was an “every day struggle” but that with strong support from her parents and family, her church, and friends, she was able to continue until she conquered the disease.

Even with all the physical challenges of treatment, Carroll says, “If I had to do it all over again, I would.”

She is quick to point out the importance of “listening to your body” and keeping track of your breast health month to month. She also noted that sometimes a doctor will try to “brush off” a patient because nothing appears wrong initially. “Get to the bottom of it,” she tells women. Doing so could save your life.