Age 40, diagnosed at 36
No family history, no known genetic mutation
Tiffany felt a lump during a breast self-exam but didn’t get to a doctor until a month later. That visit led to a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis and treatment of chemo and a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. At the time, Tiffany was active duty Air Force and a single parent to a son with autism. Embracing the same ideals as 1920s women of self-reliance and independence and not wanting to be limited by the disease, she chose to continue working. The treatments did, however, force her to slow down, focus on herself, and allow others to help. Friends pitched in to take her to appointments, provide meals, and mow the grass. Towards the end of treatment, she met her now-husband, Will, also in the military, who jumped in to support her and her son. “The period after treatment ends is like the aftermath of a big storm, and you have to figure out how to clean everything up,” Tiffany says. Will helped her do this. “He has been my rock through that process and still is, and I’m so thankful he came into my life when he did.” This is a year of celebrations for her as she retires from the military and celebrates her one-year wedding anniversary.