A local breast cancer survivor is still in the middle of her fight but her friends say she gave it a one-two punch with her positive attitude.
Maria Moll, 34, wasn't exactly surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. She told our Sheila Gray that she had a history of finding lumps in her breasts.
After finding a huge lump about 6 months ago, Maria underwent ultrasounds and biopsies, the doctor said it was stage II breast cancer.
Tracy is in awe of her friend, "She has been amazing. From day one when she put on Facebook, 'I have breast cancer, but I'm fine.' And she meant it."
Maria finished eight rounds of chemotherapy earlier this summer and now her tumors are gone.
"She has been so positive and so strong," Tracy said. "You keep waiting for a chink in the armor and I don't think it's ever come."
Maria said she did her best to be a warrior, "I just saw all these women and these older men in chemo and girls my age. There was a girl who had leukemia and now has breast cancer and she's 25. And if I'm going in there at 34 and be this horrible crying person then you know what? I'm not going to make her day any better."
Maria's spirit is one of the reasons Tracy walked last year in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She also honored her mother, Karen Temp, a 13-year breast cancer survivor. "It meant the world to me to be able to honor them. And I would send Maria pictures via Facebook and texting, and she'd say 'I'm crying' and 'I'd say I'm crying too.' It's such a wonderful group of people, so positive and full of energy."
Tracy had ankle re-construction surgery before the race. She walked anyway - with a boot on her foot."I knew everything Maria had gone through with her struggles, and I thought if she can go through this, I can suck it up and do this and do it for her."
After this interview was recorded, Maria had a double mastectomy. She'll have reconstructive surgery this fall.
Thorough it all, Maria stays strong and positive about her future, "I was not going to let this stop me. I have things to do and cancer's not going to stop me."
Maria wants to share this message with other women who may be facing the same struggle, "You are gonna be okay. There's no need to get down. You're gonna be just fine. You'll lose your hair, your eyelashes, your eye browns, but you're gonna be fine."
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