To mark breast cancer awareness month survivors came together Friday morning for a breakfast to celebrate life.
"It really scared me, I didn't know what to do."
That's how Shirley Johnson felt back in 2000 when she was told she had breast cancer.
She was able to beat the disease but in January of this year she found herself to be a cancer patient for again.
"I wouldn't be where I'm standing right now without the ‘Gift of Life' program."
At the survivor breakfast Shirley was celebrating life with other women who also beat cancer with the help of the Julie Rogers "Gift of Life" and their free programs.
"I'm one of those people that did not have insurance and through them I was able to get everything taken of with no problem," said Shirley.
Over the past 18 months the "Gift of Life" has diagnosed 25 women with breast cancer in early detection screenings.
"Their lives have been saved by programs like ours," said Kathy Catalano with the "Gift of Life." "They've been diagnosed through our free mammograms, through our mobile mammography sites. This is just a way for us to give back to them."
"It's awesome the way you can see other people that have gone through the same thing you have and it's a good support," said Shirley.
And even though fighting cancer is a battle for one's life with a good support system these women appreciate their gift of life.
More than 30 breast cancer survivors attended Friday's breakfast.
The national cancer institute advises all women over 40 to be screened for breast cancer with a mammogram every year or two.
And October 19th national mammography day where women nationwide will be able to receive free mammograms and the Julie Rogers "Gift of Life" will of course offer them as well.
Submit a news tip
Do you know of something that would be a good news story? Enter your email address and select "Submit" to send it to 12 News HD. You can also call the news tip line at 409-838-1212