Mary Ringham – 2016 Ambassador
City: Beech Grove, IN
Date of diagnosis: 2015
Diagnosis: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
After having a bout with cancer in 2013, with ductal carcinoma in situ stage 0 in her right breast and bladder cancer, Mary was burnt out from doctor visits both emotionally and financially. She had lost her job, had stopped taking Tamoxifen and had missed her 6-month mammogram check-up. So when the opportunity for a free mobile mammogram presented itself at her new workplace, she decided to do it even though she knew everything would be fine. Unfortunately, cancer was not done with her and she was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. She did in fact have a family history with three of her mother’s sisters and maternal grandfather having battled the disease. Mary ended up having a lumpectomy followed by 33 radiation treatments. The doctors determined that she would not benefit from chemotherapy, so Mary chose to selflessly donate her hair because she did not have to undergo chemo.
These days Mary enjoys hiking, baking, making crafts and spending time with her sons and daughter-in-law. Even before Mary was diagnosed she walked in the Race for the Cure to support her Aunts, in particular, one who has been a survivor for 47 years.
Mary’s takeaway message for others: “Do not skip mammograms, especially since my cancer was back in just one year. If you do not have the financial resources, I found out that there is always help, so don’t let your pride stand in your way like I did.”