Quadriplegic to share her breast cancer survival story

Posted: October 18, 2012 at 4:20 am

Photo by Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada

Being a quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada never thought she would get cancer.

"I was too busy tending to all the challenges of being a spinal cord injury survivor, and so my last mammogram was nine years ago," said Tada, 63, of Calabasas, who was injured in a diving accident at age 17.

After a needle biopsy in June 2010, followed by a mastectomy the next week, "I was told I had stage 3 breast cancer ... a 3-inch tumor and several lymph nodes affected. Then it was an arduous treatment of chemotherapy."

Because Tada thought cancer only happened to other women, she decided to be the keynote speaker at the 16th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar. Sponsored by Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, the event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1p.m. Saturday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

"I wanted to speak at this event to alert every woman of the growing statistics impacting one in eight women," said Tada, whose ministry, Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is in Agoura Hills.

"In last week's Newsweek magazine, the National Cancer Institute stated that one in every three women will develop some sort of cancer," Tada said. "It's a growing problem, and I'm grateful I've been offered a platform from which to share my story."

Each year, the seminar has a nonmedical guest speaker address topics that are not clinically related to breast cancer, said Kris Carraway-Bowman, vice president of marketing and public relations for the hospital.

"As if her handicap wasn't enough to deal with, she was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago," Carraway-Bowman said. "Instead of hiding it, she had her journey to fight breast cancer documented on film to share with other women fighting the disease so that they may find strength together."

Originally posted here:
Quadriplegic to share her breast cancer survival story

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