Natalie Skinner was only 35 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 3 carcinoma in June of 2013. She refused to let cancer keep her from living the life she loves and now she is spreading the message of “Never stop living” through her role as a model for the Beyond Boobs! 2016 Calendar to Live By.
Natalie lives in Suffolk and works as a healthcare customer service/eligibility specialist at Smithfield Foods. She is mom to daughter Brittany, 20, and son Aldrian, 14. She is also the proud grandmother of an infant grandson, Christian. Here she talks about how her cancer was discovered, the magic of Beyond Boobs!, and why Growing Pains was the best show ever.
The side of my left breast felt tender. Originally I didn’t think much of it. I went with my daughter to visit our primary care physician and when we were in the exam room my daughter suggested I have the doctor take a look at it. After the doctor felt a lump she sent me over for a mammogram. (I had just seen my OB-GYN for my annual exam and was told I was not old enough for a mammogram and to wait another year.) After the mammogram and ultrasound were done, I went to a breast specialist. The specialist did a biopsy and diagnosed me with cancer.
How did you find out about Beyond Boobs!?
I was actually in Florida at a conference for young women affected by breast cancer when I was introduced to Beyond Boobs! I was there with Cancer Treatment Centers of America as somewhat of an advocate for them. I had never heard of BB! and I really didn’t think there was anything like them in my area. I went over to introduce myself and the rest is history.
What is your favorite BB! activity or event?
The Pink Carpet Gala would have to be my favorite. I am quite new to the organization and I attended for the first time last year. I love the support the organization receives for this event. I think it is amazing how the evening is focused on breast cancer survivors.
Who was your teenage celebrity heartthrob? How did you show your undying love?
Kirk Cameron was my teenage celebrity heartthrob. I would sit and wait for Growing Pains to come on and when they ran reruns I was still glued to the TV even though I had seen EVERY episode.
One word to describe yourself:
What was the most impactful moment of your calendar model photo shoot?
The most impactful moment of my calendar photo shoot was the interview. I have told my story many times before, but on that day I realized I am a survivor! I have fought a good fight and it is through God’s grace and mercy I am still here.