The Center for Women




4139 Boardman-Canfield Road • Canfield, OH 44406 • 330.702.1281 • Email:


Breast Cancer Survivor Stories

These are some of the personal, heartfelt stories of real breast cancer survivors from our area.

Fight like a Girl…A Ninja Warrior Girl!!

Paula Fleming Caldwell

Diagnosed with breast cancer in late summer 2011, I braced for yet another uphill battle regarding health. Plagued with fibrocystic breast disease, I had multiple aspirations and biopsies over the years that caused a buildup of scar tissue. Even though my mother was a breast cancer survivor in 1958 at the young age of 44, the possibility of getting cancer seemed to decrease for me over the years due to the numerous cysts and benign growths that my body was producing. I was on the edge of becoming complacent regarding lumps and growths and breast cancer. THEN in August of 2011, upon getting an “all clear” mammogram, a NEW LUMP was detected during a doctor office examination.
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Kim Dunn

On the heels of losing a long time co-worker to breast cancer and finding out that my boyfriend's aunt was newly diagnosed, I was not prepared to find out that I, too, had breast cancer. My journey, however, was much different than theirs. In March of 2016, during my yearly breast exam, a lump was found. Upon being asked how long it had been there, I quickly replied “I don't know.” Of course, this gave away that I don't do monthly self- breast exams. I'm never going to let that slide again! After two mammograms, two ultrasounds and a molecular breast imaging, it was still unclear as to whether the mass was cancer or not. I was then sent to a surgeon to obtain a biopsy.
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Kathryn Gresko

One evening I went to bed early. I twisted and turned and felt something strange. In the morning I felt the lump and called The Center for Women and made an appointment with Gaye Sympson CNM. After she examined me she sent me to The Joanie Abdu Breast Center. I was examined and had the lump drained, it was clear. About a week later Gaye Sympson from The Center for Women called and explained everything was clear but Gaye was not satisfied with the x-ray. She thought something was wrong.
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Jocelyn Mader

I had high hopes and expectations for the summer of 2014. I was married on May 31st to my best friend and soul mate, Frank. We honeymooned in Las Vegas at the beginning of June. On Wednesday, June 8 after returning from a day of sightseeing, I had an itch on my left breast. Frank was sitting in the other part of our suite. While itching, I felt a significant lump. I remember thinking, "This is not what I think it is". Frank walked in from the other room and instantly asked, "What's wrong?" The look of fear on my face told him that something was really wrong.
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Marsha Schlais

Dr. Baird saved my life. I went for my annual checkup, and when she examined me she asked how long I've had an inverted nipple. I said that I had never noticed it. So I immediately had a mammogram and the results showed something irregular. Then I was sent to Tiffany Breast Care Center for an ultrasound. The radiologist said the ultrasound showed that there was a mass. Therefore, I had a biopsy which indicated that the mass was malignant. Surgery to remove the mass was recommended. I was devastated! I had breast cancer!
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