Reflecting on Surviving Breast Cancer

They say it’s less about the destination than the journey but in this case, success in their journey meant there was a destination: survival. For our CEO, Patricia Bible and her sister, Julia “Birdie” Eslinger, reflecting on their battles against breast cancer during this national breast cancer month reaffirms their gratefulness for the opportunity to share their story as survivors and offer wisdom for the more than 230,000 individuals who will be diagnosed with the disease this year.

Just a little more than a decade after her younger sister and our Office Manager Birdie was diagnosed, Patricia sat stunned at the news. She confesses, watching Birdie struggle with her treatment 12 years ago made her question whether everything entailed in fighting the disease was worth it. Still, flooded with concerns for her family and business, she forged ahead with the lessons of strength and courage she had come to know through her sister’s battle. And, she found her fight easier, thanks to advances in medicine that meant she didn’t have to go through chemotherapy and was essentially cancer-free after surgery.

Sister's Breast Cancer Survival Story
Now, one year later, Patricia focuses on her new personal mission of encouraging others to participate in regular mammography and self-examinations. As the most common cancer among women and second most common cancer of all, understanding breast cancer and engaging in frequent screenings is the key to success stories like Patricia and Birdie’s.

For more information on getting involved in the fight against breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society for news on walks, fundraisers, and mobile mammography events. Most importantly, take the time to offer hope to those diagnosed with the disease and encourage loved ones to learn about their options for early detection.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.