Clarissa West – 2015 Ambassador
Clarissa currently works for Eli Lily and Company in Indianapolis where she resides with her husband Donald. In her free time, Clarissa enjoys running, cooking and baking, hiking and spending time with her family and friends.
Prior to an appointment with her OB/GYN, Clarissa discovered a lump in her breast. Clarissa’s doctor insisted it was a cyst, so Clarissa did not pursue additional screening. A few weeks later, Clarissa returned to her OB/GYN when the lump had not receded. In October 2012, after receiving a mammogram, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Moving forward with her treatment, Clarissa decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. Clarissa began chemo and received Taxotere and Cytoxan for her first and second rounds. In April 2013, Clarissa had reconstructive surgery. Now, Clarissa has four more years of Tamoxifen and has started running again. In the fall of 2013, Clarissa completed two half marathons.
Prior to her breast cancer diagnosis, Clarissa participated in Race for the Cure several years. In 2013, she began participating as a Survivor. As an active fundraiser for Race for the Cure, Clarissa has been a top fundraiser during both years of her involvement.
Clarissa’s takeaway message for others:
“You are much stronger than you ever imagined possible! A cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow and can certainly stop you in your tracks. But don’t underestimate the power of prayer, hope, support of family and friends and your very own strength. You have an army of angels watching over you to guide you through this journey. Don’t let cancer define you, fight it with every ounce of your being!”
City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date of diagnosis: October 24, 2012
Diagnosis: Stage 1 Invasive Lobular Cancer, Grade 2 ER/PR positive