Doreen Trenda volunteers at a Centennial Elementary in Richfield by reading to a classroom of 1st graders. But if you would have asked her 15 years ago if she ever pictured herself doing such a thing, she likely would have said no. “I never thought I could ever have kids.”
Doreen was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was single and just 29 years old. Now 44, she still remembers the day the doctor gave her the bad news. “The first thing he said to me was, ‘come on in. I don’t have really good news for you.’ And my mom and I just looked at each other like what… what are you talking about?” For the next year, Doreen would undergo chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy. Doctors told her having children would be unlikely.
Yet, were it not for her breast cancer, Doreen probably wouldn't have the family she has now. Doreen joined a support group and met a fellow breast cancer survivor who in turn introduced her to a guy named Jon. Jon became the love of Doreen’s life. Ten years ago, they married. “He's always believed I'm going to be O.K. Even when I wasn't sure I was going to be O.K.” Then six years ago, Doreen got news she never thought she’d hear. She was pregnant.
Now they have a wonderful little first grader named Sarah. “She is the biggest blessing in our lives, Sarah is. She doesn't even realize what a miracle she really is.”
Doreen also has a message she shares with others about breast cancer. “You have to check yourself because I found it…I was 28 when I initially found the lump and was diagnosed at age 29. There's no age limit here and that goes for men too.” Because if you find cancer early enough, Doreen knows you can live a good life after breast cancer.
Health Fair 11 has a program on-line that helps you take charge of your health. It's called Buddy Check 11. You'll find information on how to do a self exam. Then you can sign up for monthly email reminders. Just log onto our home page and click on Buddy Check 11.