Lorena de la Pena was 27 years old when she found a lump in her breast. She had a history of breast cancer in her family, so she made an appointment to have it checked out immediately. The doctor, however, dismissed it as a cyst, believing Lorena was just being paranoid, because she was too flat-chested and too young to develop breast cancer.
The pea-sized lump grew to about two inches in diameter, and Lorena finally received her diagnosis a full two years after her original appointment.
The results were certainly not what Lorena had hoped for. She was diagnosed with stage III invasive ductal carcinoma and had to undergo chemotherapy and a mastectomy at just 30 years old.
Lorena is now a breast cancer survivor with a clean bill of health, and she wants other people to know that cancer doesn’t discriminate based on body type. So she’s using her Instagram account and a talent for public speaking to spread her message and encourage people to get checked out if they notice something amiss, regardless of their age or cup size.
Thank you, Lorena, for dedicating so much of your time to spreading awareness about this important subject. You’re awesome, and the world needs more people like you!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?