When I think of Breast Cancer Awareness Week, I often think of the people in my life who were affected by breast cancer. One of these people is Hailey Williams, a former coworker and friend from my hometown whose mom sadly passed away from the disease in March of 2020. Because of this, I decided to interview her and get her take on BCAW. The following are her answers to questions I asked her:
Jillian: When you hear the words breast cancer, what’s the first thing that comes to your head?
Hailey: When I first hear the words breast cancer I think of my mom, although I do not like for something as awful as cancer representing someone as amazing as my mom. I also think of pink, October and strength.
J: Do you have any experiences regarding the disease?
H: I unfortunately have experienced what breast cancer can do to someone firsthand, not only with my mom but others within my life as well. My mom fought like hell and kept hope and her strength through both times having it. She was never scared to go head on with the cancer and did not give up hope even in the very end.
J: What is one thing that you wish people knew about it / one misconception you’d like to clear up?
H:I feel as if breast cancer can be pushed off or seen as really curable sometimes. It may be for a lot of people. It even was for my mom the first time she had it when it was stage 3, level 3. Unfortunately, it can come back, and it did as stage 4 metastatic breast cancer for my mom which is not curable. Another misconception a lot of people have is that it’s only something women can get. Men can get breast cancer too and should check their breast once a month to make sure there is not a lump or something different than normal going on.
J: What are your opinions on organizations such as the Susan G. Komen foundation?
H: I have mixed feelings about the Susan G Komen foundation. I think it is amazing for raising awareness. Before anyone in my life I knew personally was affected by breast cancer I knew what it was from doing walks to raise money for breast cancer. I know that only a portion of the money raised goes to researching breast cancer.
I hope that stories like Hailey’s inspire you to not only be active in spreading awareness about breast cancer but also perform self-examinations and receive the appropriate tests and mammograms when necessary.