In 2009, Sandra Broome, a 33-year-old active mom, was surprised to receive a breast cancer diagnosis, especially at such a young age. She quickly had a double mastectomy to treat the disease, thinking that would be that. But two weeks later, she got the shocking news that the surgery revealed three different types of cancer in her breast, and the possibility they may spread to other parts of the body.
Since then, tumors have cropped up throughout her body, and dozens of surgeries and multiple rounds of radiation have left her scarred, but nothing has been able to dampen Sandra’s spirit.
“When I was diagnosed, it felt like a lot of weight was on my shoulders and I didn’t know how I was going to make it through this journey,” Sandra reflects. “But my team at Dana-Farber helped show me that laughter is the best medicine, and with the help of my family and friends, I found the strength to pull through.”
“So many people get stressed about their cancer, which I get, but stress doesn’t help your body,” she continues. “It’s not about never being sad or discouraged, but it’s important for me to have a positive outlook. We need to kick cancer to the curb.”
Today, 12 years later, as Sandra is gearing up for more treatment this fall, she is also channeling her experience and giving back to help others facing breast cancer and other diagnoses. Earlier this month, she participated in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk: Your Way presented by Hyundai with family and friends to raise funds to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.
“Participating in the Jimmy Fund Walk has helped a lot with my recovery,” Sandra says. “It helps me to know that I will be helping others; it brings a good feeling to my heart.”
While Sandra continues treatment to stay healthy, her best advice is to go about your days like you don’t have cancer—and she is doing just that. She journals regularly and enjoys walking, hiking, ziplining, and going to the beach with her husband and sons, Zachary and Tyler, and her grandson, Kayden. She hopes to one day pen a book to help others facing cancer stay strong and carry on.
Support patients like Sandra by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign at DefyCancer.org.