Brooklyn breast cancer survivor shares story to inspire hope and raise awareness

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With Breast Cancer Awareness Month underway, one Brooklyn resident is sharing her story of beating the disease to give hope to others who may be affected by it.

Jennifer Markey says she never expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, stating she had no family history and got yearly mammograms.

"I was pretty healthy. I am active, you know, so no I didn’t think so,” says Markey.

She was 48 years old when she got the diagnosis.

"My husband was with me, and he knew, but I didn’t even tell my daughter who was graduating from eighth grade; my niece was making her confirmation and graduating so I didn’t want to take away from anybody’s moment. I didn’t want to upset anybody,” says Markey.

Her family supported her through a difficult journey fighting to beat breast cancer.

Together through the trying times, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, she ultimately beat the disease two years later.

Markey says she decided to share her story to serve as a lesson for others.

“When I was going through my treatment and I had no hair; I think I had a pink bandanna on my head and there was a man walking in the street and he looked at me and he goes ‘if I think I know what you’re going through, my wife just went through it.’ He goes ‘you’re going to get there, just stay strong,’” says Markey.

Her doctors today say in her case the mammograms weren't enough to detect the cancer, which was only found through sonogram and biopsy. They say that early detection and multiple testing was key.

"Just hearing the word cancer is scary for any person, but we have a good treatment for cancer and were able to cure cancer in many, many cases," says Alan Astrow, chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

For those similar cases, Markey shares some words of encouragement.

“Just stay strong, just take one day at a time. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be an uphill battle. But it will get better,” says Markey.

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