Tampa, Fla. -- Few families will face cancer the way it has impacted Shelby Coriaty and her family.
"I was diagnosed in 2000, just a couple of months after my 40th birthday with stage 3 breast cancer," Shelby said.
At the time, Shelby was the only one in her family who had battled cancer. Over the past 10 years, Shelby's mother and all her siblings have been impacted by the disease.
"My oldest sister is fighting stage 2 breast cancer. She's had a double mastectomy and is in chemotherapy," Shelby said. "And scarier yet, my youngest sister has stage 3 ovarian cancer. I look at our children and our grandchildren. Statistically, it's supposed to be a 50/50 chance if there's a genetic mutation in the family. For us, it turned out to be a hundred percent."
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Shelby encourages others to be proactive and catch cancer early by doing a monthly self exam, getting an annual mammogram, and knowing your family history. She's spreading the word through community outreach.
"I volunteer a lot. And I've done work with the American Cancer Society relay for life and it was a no brainer. Making Strides is the breast cancer walk for the American Cancer Society and I'm passionate about bringing awareness."
To find out how you can join Reg and Heather for Making Strides later this month, click here.
Shelby shares her fight against breast cancer in a PSA. The theme of this year's Making Strides fundraising walk: "Put on Your Pink Bra."
"This is symbolic of a breast cancer journey. This blank side is actually a cocoon because life changes when you get breast cancer. And you're changing through all of it, but when you come out of the cocoon that you come back into this beautiful garden of life," Shelby said.
Like the pink ribbon, Shelby sees the pink bra as a symbol of women's empowerment.
"We are having to have our breast removed to this hideous disease, Shelby said. "We face scars each day and to say 'put on your pink bra' empowers us to say our breasts don't define us. You know that's part of our journey. But to decorate in whatever, mine symbolizes life and growth and others symbolizes the empowerment of facing that battle, and so I think it's a symbol for each and every woman.
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