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Janelle Roberts (Photo courtesy of Lee Weston Photography)

When I looked in the mirror this morning, a very pregnant 34-year-old woman with long blonde hair looked back at me.  A pregnant me is someone I wasn’t sure I would ever see. In October 2008, I was diagnosed with stage 1, grade 3 breast cancer. I was 29 years old. I underwent a lumpectomy followed by six rounds of chemotherapy, a month of radiation, and three years on the drug tamoxifen.  The end of treatment was a very difficult time for me. A future that was once so exciting now seemed so scary. Cancer got me once; would it come back again?

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Dominique Carli (pictured second from left) surrounded by her father, sister and mother at the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

Dominique Carli participated in the 2012 CIBC Run for the Cure and was awarded a CIBC Education Award as the top fundraiser for the Post Secondary Challenge. Dominique is currently studying at the University of Toronto.

There is a line from my favourite book, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax that reads, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not!” This one line has been a part of my personality since the first day I heard it. It is this one line that inspired me to start a personal initiative: to commit myself to a different cause every year on my birthday.  For my 19th birthday, I chose to participate in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure and the Post Secondary Challenge as my special initiative.

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Devynn Helischauer (pictured left)

Devynn Helischauer is participating in the 2013 CIBC Run for the Cure and the Post Secondary Challenge. Devynn is a past CIBC Education Award winner and is currently studying at the University of Lethbridge.

Trying to find the words to explain just how much breast cancer has affected not only me, but so many of my friends and family members is extremely hard. Since I can remember someone in my family has had breast cancer. It started with my grandmother aka GramCracker, then my mother, and then carried on to my other grandmother, who we call nagymama.

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Jasmine Ross (pictured far right) at the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Durham Region with her husband James (left), her aunt Linda (centre) and her daughter Akaterine

My name is Jasmine and I am 26 years old. I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful husband and am a warrior who fought the battle known as breast cancer. I found my lump in March 2012 and was diagnosed with triple negative invasive breast cancer in May 2012, at the young age of 25. I had a lumpectomy and 16 auxiliary lymph nodes removed in May 2012. At this time I have had eight chemo treatments, 25 radiation treatments and a bilateral mastectomy with more reconstruction surgery to come.

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Holly Bailey participated in the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Fort McMurray, where she told this inspirational story as part of her survivor’s speech.

On December 30, 2011 I found out I had breast cancer – I was 26 years old.  What can I say? My world stopped. I was in shock given that I have no family history of breast cancer and the fact that I was so young.

I never really thought, “I have breast cancer.” I figured it was just a cyst or I was worrying about nothing. Let this be a lesson – it doesn’t matter how old you are! If you have something you think you should be concerned about, go get it checked out!

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