Sandra Baxter urges people to get checked early and often - News 11's Adonis Albright reports.
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) Yuma Regional Medical Center is lighting up its building in pink through October 30 for breast cancer awareness month in honor of the hundreds of thousands of cancer patients who are diagnosed every year.
Sandra Baxter is a loving mother and wife. She was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2015 while she was living in Fresno, California. She moved to Yuma, Arizona with her husband in February of this year, and has been a patient at YRMC’s Cancer Center ever since.
“My treatment here at the Yuma Cancer Center has been outstanding. My doctor’s outstanding”, said Baxter.
Sandra thought she only had eight months to a year to live. More than six years later, although she says she’s not a survivor, she is thriving.
“I saw a program and a gal was saying I’m not a survivor, because I’m not going to survive this. She said but I am a thriver, and I thought hallelujah I’ve got a name for this. And that’s what I am, I’m a thriver.”
Sandra’s cancer is incurable and is receiving quality of life care, but her positivity through it all is truly inspiring.
“Every day that I wake up and I see the ceiling or I can hear my dogs barking or I hear my husband clanging around in the kitchen, every day’s another day that they could find a cure.”
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it’s estimated that roughly more than 325,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. alone. It’s also one of the most common worldwide, and one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Sandra says that’s why it’s important to get checked early and often.
"If you feel a lump, if you feel soreness, go to your doctor, get a second opinion if you have to.”
Sandra said although October may be breast cancer awareness month, in reality, the fight never stops.
“I don’t just have breast cancer in October, I have it all the time, every day, and I will have it for the rest of my life.”
If you would like to donate to local patients and families in Yuma County, click here.