In 2011, at only 36 years old, Heather felt a mass in her right breast. Her mother, who was previously diagnosed with breast cancer, urged Heather to get the lump examined by a doctor. Heather made an appointment at Planned Parenthood and was seen by a doctor at that facility the next week. After the initial evaluation, she was referred to Waco Women’s Breast Health. There she received a diagnosis of breast cancer. After the diagnosis in July, things moved swiftly. She underwent a double mastectomy in August and began chemotherapy in September.
Her fighting spirit and support system kept her from questioning if she would survive. Yet after undergoing the double mastectomy, she felt her self-esteem take a big hit. “I felt damaged and incomplete,” Heather said. “I wanted everything that cancer had stolen from me restored so I could feel whole again.” The American Cancer Society referred Heather to the AiRS Foundation to help with the cost of reconstructive surgery. As a result, Heather received a grant from AiRS as well as a number of donated services from Dr. Denton Watumull of Regional Plastic Surgery Center in Richardson, Texas.
The reconstructive surgery was a success and Heather says the assistance from AiRS helped her regain her confidence. When asked what advice she would give to another going through a similar circumstance Heather replied, “The AiRS Foundation is a fabulous organization! They have been by my side every step of the way! They never gave up until they found exactly what I needed based on my circumstances. My only advice would be to make sure it’s what you really want because the process can be lengthy and somewhat painful at times but well worth it in the end.”