Meet Dawn, she is a two-time cancer survivor. Dawn was diagnosed with Colon cancer, 6 months later after beating Colon Cancer she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Dawn had no idea the obstacles she would be facing for the next few years. Her journey started out with 6 months of weekly chemo treatments and a year of hercepton treatments. You see Dawn is Brac2 positive, ER+, PR+, Her2+. What does this mean? Being Brac 2 positive means that she had 99.9% chance that the cancer would come back and spread with a vengeance if her and her doctors did not agree to take extraordinary measures. This meant after treatment she would have to have a radical double mastectomy and a full hysterectomy. This would lead from one problem after another. Dawn’s body rejected the implants. She had to face another surgery but out of nowhere a hernia developed. This of course would be another surgery with a week’s stay at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her doctors now needed to put a mesh implant across her entire stomach.
Now the healing would continue from the implant removal. Dawn was healing well. She now received a letter that the current implants were causing Lymphoma! Dawn made the decision to take out the implants yet again. This was no easy decision; this was a 10-hour Diep Flap Surgery. What is a Diep Flap surgery? The oncologist would take the blood vessels from her belly put them into her chest area to form breasts. This would be her own body healing itself, “so to speak”. The hardest part would be the healing. Dawn would have to stay another week at MSKCC and 8 more weeks of at home healing. Dawn now would have to be taught how to do the simple things that we all take for granted, you know like getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, showering, and of course the hardest was learning to walk after a massive surgery.
Dawn persevered. Cancer has inspired Dawn to become stronger, fiercer. It has motivated her to push herself harder and to not ever let cancer push her! She is a force. She continues to grow, she has taken what should have broken her and turned it into what empowers her.
Today we are celebrating Dawn, she is 6 YEARS CANCER FREE. She has endured 15 surgeries, countless doctor appointments, endless blood work, scans, tests. She is pre-diabetic and has to take medications, her doctors say this is caused from the chemo and cancer. She is currently seeing a specialist for Vulva & Vaginal Disorders; her oncology follow up appointments and sees an endocrinologist. Dawn lives an extremely healthy life style. Her diet is mostly plant based, organic with lots of exercise. Dawn makes calls for The American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program. This is a program for women who are recently diagnosed with breast cancer and need someone to talk to who has a similar diagnosis.
Today we are extremely honored to share with you all that Dawn Fortis is the FOUNDER and PRESIDENT of BRIELLE GRACE BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION. She guides so many of us. Dawn is a gift. She continues daily to fight and help all who are currently diagnosed with breast cancer and in treatment. She has become an ordained minister so she may give blessings to all. Dawn gives hope, she makes you smile when you thought you had no reason to. She sees light when most see dark. She lifts you up when you think you are going to break. She is a spiritual guide when we think we have nothing left. Dawn lets you know how you’ve impacted her life. She walks in a room and simply spreads peace,joy and love. Most people say she lights up a room, Dawn says the room lights up because she met you in the room. You are her light. You are how she gains strength.
Today on behalf of our founder, Dawn Fortis we are asking if you would be so kind as to make a donation to celebrate with us her 6 years cancer free anniversary.