Breast Cancer Patient Stories

  • Dina Gillis

    Dina Gillis

    The summer of 2008 should have been an exciting time for Gillis family. Dina, her husband Bill, and their 3-year old son, Christopher, were expecting an addition to their family - a new baby. But 16-weeks into her pregnancy, Dina felt a lump in her breast. She brought it to her obstetrician's attention, hoping it was related to her pregnancy. Instead, Dina was sent for an ultrasound which confirmed the lump and the need for a biopsy. Pregnant and 36, Dina learned she had Stage II breast cancer.

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  • Deborah Gleason

    Deborah Gleason

    Breast Cancer

    With a family history of breast cancer on her mother’s side, Deborah Gleason took her risk seriously. In addition to her annual mammograms beginning at age 40, she performed monthly breast self-exams on a regular basis. Her diligence paid off. In 2000, at the age 49, Deb discovered a lump in her left breast and went to her community hospital for a diagnosis. A breast surgeon performed a lumpectomy, as well as a quadrantectomy, in which about one-quarter of her breast around the tumor site was removed. 

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  • Linda Gottlieb

    Linda Gottlieb

    Linda Gottlieb has always been vigilant about getting her annual mammogram. Even though breast cancer does not run in her family, she knows the importance of screening. However, she typically does not perform a breast-self exam. In November 2008, she learned her routine mammogram was normal. Just 5 months later, she was getting out of the shower, and as she wrapped her towel around herself, Linda felt a small lump in her breast.

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  • Charlette Gray

    Charlette Gray

    It’s been a balancing act for Charlette Gray as she’s juggled a career and a family quite successfully. During a business trip in the summer, 2011, Charlette discovered a lump in her breast. When she returned home, Charlette arranged an exam by her internist. “During my appointment, she scheduled for me to have an ultrasound which confirmed the lump,” recalls Charlette. “This all happened on a Friday and on Monday, I had the biopsy that confirmed that it was lobular breast cancer.  I was able to have a consultation with a surgeon in my home town that same week who advised me of my options.”  

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  • Kim Hagerich

    Kim Hagerich

    Moving half way across the country with 2 small children for her husband's new job can be stressful for some, but Kim Hagerich took it in stride. Kim and Todd settled into a friendly family-oriented neighborhood in a northern Philadelphia suburb. Kim quickly made many friends by getting involved in a book club, mother's group and preschool. She and her husband wanted a third child, and based on her fertility history, she began taking progesterone (a hormone that is connected to pregnancy). Not soon after, Kim found a lump in her breast.

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