Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Meet Amber Rivera
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. An estimated 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime and 281,550 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2021. (source)
Breast cancer affects millions of women (and yes, even men) and families across the country. One of our very own team members is currently battling breast cancer, and has offered to share her story. Meet Amber, Hope for Miami's Social Media Coordinator!
1. Hi, tell us who you are, where you are from and how you serve with the team at Hope for Miami?
Greetings! I’m from Clearwater, Florida. I am Hope for Miami’s Social Media Coordinator. I was diagnosed with Stage 3a Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer in July 2020, right after I turned 30.
2. Would you mind sharing a bit of your story with us on your battle with cancer?
A battle is a good word for it! It’s difficult to put into words because a lot of what you deal with is physical/emotional and comes and goes. I was diagnosed at the near beginning of the pandemic with a pretty intense and scary diagnosis. I went through all my chemo treatments, I had a mastectomy in December of 2020, and underwent 33 rounds of radiation through Feb-March of 2021. Unfortunately, continuing chemo treatments, with 11 more to go! Cancer is hard to beat, but it can be prevented early! I stupidly waited too long before asking for help, but when I did, my whole world shifted for the better.
3. How has this terminal disease affected you most, for good and/or bad?
I have always had an optimistic outlook, cancer didn’t change that luckily. If anything cancer actually made that urge to overcome and press-on stronger. The support I’ve been offered by my family and friends is the main reason for that, I am beyond grateful for their presence through this journey.
4. What would you like to share with others in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Please, check your body, every month! If you can, go get genetic testing, especially if you have a history of cancer in your family. There are lots of preventive tests and ways to ensure cancer doesn’t take over your life or body. Be an advocate for yourself and start mammograms early- especially if you have a family history. Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you think something is wrong. You are so worth it.
5. Tell us what you like to do for fun!
I love taking care of my plants, playing and snuggling with my cat Archie. My partner, Trey and I play video games together, go thrifting or plant shopping and spending time with our family. I’m an artist so I create things for fun out of any materials I can find hanging around, creating is therapy for me.
Thank you for helping raise awareness about Breast Cancer!