WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Early this year Stephanie Blankenship went to get her annual mammogram. She went to the doctors thinking it would be a routine visit. After getting screened the radiologist noticed something unusual.

“They attempted to do a needle biopsy, but that because of the presentation that wasn’t able to be done. So I had to have a surgical biopsy in May,” says breast cancer survivor Stephanie Blankenship.

The surgeon took out a golf ball size mass of tissue to be examined. Pathology noticed cancerous cells in the tissue. Stephanie then had to get more lab work.

“It ended up being the volume of about half of one of my breasts. And so then I had some choices to make,” says Blankenship.

Stephanie decided to do a double mastectomy and is currently under the reconstruction phase.

“I had no invasion of the cells, no spread to lymph nodes. You know, nothing along those lines. It was the early detection that made the difference for me,” says Blankenship.

Stephanie and her mother were diagnosed at the same age. Being a mother now, her doctors recommended she do genetic testing for cancer.

“I opted for genetic testing because I also have a daughter and you know, we need to know for her sake and then for my sons also, because there are other cancers associated with the similar genes,” says Blankenship.

Genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer looks for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

“All of my breast cancer genes that they tested for were all negative. So we were my mother and I both were that one in eight statistic that we’ll get breast cancer at some point with no family history or no genetic tendencies,” says Blankenship.

While cancer fighters might have different journeys from Stephanie she wants to remind those who are fighting this tough battle, you’re not alone.

The Lions Club Park Senior Center is hosting a SENIOR BRA-UNCH with a BRA-ART CONTEST on October 13 from 9:45 a.m – 11:00 a.m.

Show off your design skills and participate in a worthy cause. Sign up at the front desk, decorate a bra and submitted along with a brief description or dedication form before October 12 at 3:00pm. Best bra-art will receive a prize. For more information, please call (254) 501-6399 or visit www.killeentexas.gov/seniors

October 15, 2022, Temple N.A.A.C.P. is hosting their 2nd Annual W.I.N. for Pink Awareness Breast Cancer Walk/Run.

Start at 8:00 a.m., and Registration at 7:30 a.m. Speaker: Dr. Stella Amaechi Oncologist at the Waco Cancer Center at HillcrestPink Awareness Honor/ Memory Wall.

Bring a picture of a friend and loved one you are walking for and write their name on the wall.Continue to check for updates at https://www.templetxnaacp.org/2022_win_for_pink_walk.

Wilson Park 2205 Curtis B Elliot Dr, Temple, TX 76501.