Mary Ashby didn’t mess around when she felt a golf-ball-sized lump in her breast while performing a self-exam in the shower. Her mother was a breast cancer survivor and Mary took her higher risk for the disease seriously. She went straight to the ER to be checked out and to request a mammogram. Right after her 35th birthday, in late August 2013, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma.
Mary is thrilled to be representing Beyond Boobs!, along with ten of her Boober! sisters, in A Calendar to Live By 2016. She resides in Williamsburg with her husband, Vernon, her seven-year-old daughter Mary, and her mom, also named Mary. She works as an IT specialist for the Department of Defense. Here she talks about her involvement with BB!, shares her favorite recipe for kale salad, and explains how much it means to her to be a calendar model.
How did you hear about Beyond Boobs!?
I have a friend who knew about Beyond Boobs! She passed my information to the executive director, Mary Beth Gibson. The rest is history.
Who are your biggest supporters?
My biggest supporters are my husband, my daughter, my mom, and my closest friends, Jackie and Erica.
What is your favorite healthy food/dish?
Currently my favorite health food is kale salad. I first tasted it at the Beyond Boobs! retreat. One of the Boober! sisters brought it. My husband and I now eat it every day for lunch. It has kale, carrots, red onions, cherry tomatoes, craisins, and a light vinaigrette dressing. It’s practically all raw and delicious!
Who was your teenage celebrity heartthrob? How did you show your undying love?
I’ve never really been star-struck. I did love to watch Scottie Pippen play basketball when he played for the Chicago Bulls and I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall.
One word to describe yourself:
What does being selected as a calendar model mean to you?
I am really excited to represent this organization. I’m also excited to be able to share my story with other women who need to know that breast cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. I am excited to have this platform to share that, despite how scary this road can be, there are others here for you if you let them.
What was the most impactful moment of your calendar model photo shoot?
It was probably the “joy” of trying to get the photo shoot just right. That will be an inside joke until September. I was impressed with the creative thoughts. It meant a lot that Beyond Boobs! wanted to perfect the moment.