Two years ago, on Mother’s Day 2017, Joss Whedon released an amazing video in support of Planned Parenthood. As a huge Marvel fan and the leader of the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood in Florida, I was eager to watch it. His video, “UNLOCKED,” not only highlighted the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the lives of millions of people, it encouraged me to do my first breast self-exam.
That video, and Planned Parenthood, saved my life. I found a lump and followed up with a screening at my local Planned Parenthood. They confirmed what I had found and referred me to a doctor who detected stage 2 breast cancer.
Even though I have an above average knowledge of our health care system, have excellent benefits and the entire team of Planned Parenthood supporting me, I was scared.
At age 44, with two school age boys, I was terrified of what this would mean for me and family. My oncologist told me she was surprised I had detected the lump, due to its location and size, and acknowledged that the self-exam meant it had not spread as far as it could have.
I decided to have surgery (bilateral mastectomy) and am on a long term medication for people with this type of cancer. While the side effects are not pleasant, I am cancer free thanks to the health care and advocacy work central to Planned Parenthood’s mission.
While it is difficult for me to share this very personal story so publicly, I do it in the hopes of inspiring others to share their experiences too. I don’t like to imagine how our patients’ lives would be different without access to the life-saving care provided at our health centers every day. And that’s why I’m sharing my story – to highlight the important care we provide every day and how that care changes lives. And, in some cases, like mine, saves lives.
Do you have a story of receiving expert, compassionate care at a Planned Parenthood health center? Sharing is an amazing way to uplift your voice and fight for access to reproductive health care.
Share Your Story
Whether it's a cancer screening, affordable birth control, or the right to safe and legal abortion; tell us why these services matter to you. Your story will help show everyone just what we're fighting for.