Survivor advocates for breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer survivor Kayla McBride and her husband, Seth, look at pictures they had taken while Kayla was undergoing chemotherapy. The McBrides now are vocal supporters of early detection of breast cancer.

PALMYRA — For Kayla McBride, a local breast cancer survivor, October is a month for remembering the journey behind her and supporting those still fighting cancer.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with events and information designed to increase awareness and raise funds for cancer research and support. For McBride it has become a reminder of her own experiences.

At 36 years old, McBride, a counselor at Palmyra Middle School, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on Sept. 14, 2018. Two months later, she began her 15 rounds of chemotherapy. She completed treatment in March 2019 along with five surgeries and double mastectomy.

“You see other people go through cancer, but when it’s yourself it’s a whole different ball game because it changes how you look at life,” McBride said.

After a year and a half of remission, this season of life leads McBride and her husband to reflect.

“Any significant other who has to watch someone they love go through such a road in regard to what cancer does, it’s something I’ll never forget. I think about it every day. But the good Lord was definitely with us,” said Seth McBride, Kayla’s husband.

The McBrides now use their experience to advocate for early prevention and to support others fighting cancer.

“One in eight women get diagnosed every year, so I always try to post things throughout the month about my story,” Kayla McBride said. “If something looks different or feels different, get it checked out. You can never be too cautious when it comes to cancer.”

“Try to find that support group. If you don’t have one, find one, and pray. God is there. If you can’t find anybody, call me,” Seth McBride said.

With Hannibal Regional Hospital close to home, nearly all of Kayla’s surgeries, appointments and treatments were done at the Hannibal Regional Medical Group.

“It was really important for us to stay local because we have young kids and I didn’t want to be on the road three hours a day,” Kayla McBride said. “Every doctor that we met we trusted. They were really honest with us.”

According to Hannibal Regional Hospital’s James E. Cary Cancer Center’s website, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. As Kayla McBride advocates, early prevention is vital.

For more information on cancer risk factors, symptoms, and a variety of patient resources, visit hospital.hannibalregional.org or carycancercenter.org.

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