Amy Burritt and Cheri Intveld started out as best friends, and they have been best friends for about 20 years. Then they decided to be business partners and opened a specialty cheese shop together. What they never expected, however, is that they’d end up being cancer patients together too, and while they were only in their 30s.
Shortly into the friends’ journey to open the Euphoric Cheese Shop together, Amy discovered a lump in her breast during a self-exam. Cheri encouraged her to go get checked out, which she did. She underwent months of mammograms and biopsies before finally getting her breast cancer diagnosis.
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“I remember crashing down on the phone, hearing the words from my doctor, and just feeling like, okay, I didn’t expect this, but now there’s this whole path ahead of me,” says Amy.
Not long after Amy’s diagnosis, Cheri went through almost the same thing. She, too, felt a lump while doing a self-exam, but she put off getting it checked out, in denial that it could be breast cancer.
“I just kept thinking, there’s no way I could have breast cancer right after Amy had been diagnosed because it was within a year of her diagnosis,” says Cheri.
When she finally did go get it checked out, however, she was diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer, a higher grade than her best friend had. She would need chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as surgery.
“We’ve shared a lot of things, I never thought we would share a cancer diagnosis, but here we are,” says Cheri.
For Amy, Cheri’s diagnosis has been harder than her own. “I mean, when it was me, it was like, okay, this is my thing to get through,” she says. “When it’s someone you love, I think it’s harder.”
Amy started a blog to document her experience and Cheri’s. The pair also joined Breast Connect, where they have a community of support behind them. “So many different survivors say it’s a club you don’t want to be a part of, but once you are in, it really is like a sisterhood,” says Amy.
And, of course, there’s always the support from their customers at the cheese shop, which has only been open a few months but already has a loyal following. There’s a box at the end of the cheese counter where customers can write messages of support to Cheri while she undergoes treatment.
Amy and Cheri hope to be able to give back to the community that is giving so much to them. They’re starting by encouraging people to do regular self-checks to help with the early detection of breast cancer.
“My goal is to try and love the community that I’m in,” says Cheri.
The Euphoric Cheese Shop is located at 139 West End Ave. in Farragut, Tennessee. You can also visit their website at euphoriccheese.com.
Check out the video below to learn more about this unlikely but beautiful journey.Whizzco