BATON ROUGE, LA (BRPROUD) – One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It’s a life-changing disease that impacts all of us in one way or another. In this week’s Louisiana Women, Carly Laing sits down with one Baton Rouge woman who embraced her diagnosis and is using it to educate women.
“It’s interesting how life kind of catches you at different moments and it helps you to really find what’s important,” Breaux said.
Whitney Breaux may look like an average 32-year-old woman, but if you take a closer look, you’ll realize she is anything but ordinary.
She’s a mother, works a full-time job, is on the Woman’s Hospital board and hosts a podcast. She also is living with stage 3B breast cancer.
“After six rounds of chemotherapy, what did I do, 30 rounds of radiation, I’ve had a double mastectomy and I still have more treatments and surgeries ahead,” Breaux said.
In March 2020 she found out cancer had been growing in her body for over a year.
“A diagnosis like that certainly stops you in your tracks,” Breaux said.
She was suddenly facing a cancer diagnosis during a global pandemic.
“To get a diagnosis like that, and to then be immune compromised, in the middle of a global pandemic meant that the people closet to me couldn’t be next to me. They couldn’t be around me as I was going through a really difficult experience. It just didn’t make sense, and I was pissed off, just to be honest, that it happened to me,” Breaux said.
She channeled that anger into hope, creating the ‘Day 18’ campaign to promote self breast exams.
“I was like gosh darn it if this can happen to me, I’m thinking about the number of women that I know that can also be impacted in that one in eight number. I’m like I got to let people know that this is real and that it happens. So, the idea of encouraging women to perform self breast exams on the 18th day of the month, because one in eight,” said Breaux.
Breaux is taking the chance to pursue all of her passions. She is now hosting a weekly podcast called the ‘Grit Iron’ show, celebrating the passion and lifestyle of women on and off the field.
“Not only the women coaches that are winning super bowls and referring super bowls, but the wives of players and coaches that are having a huge impact on the success that you see. Those are the stories that I want to tell because all of them share something in common and I think I share something with them, and that’s grit,” Breaux said.
Breaux is still battling her diagnosis, but she wants to help others pick themselves up and keep going too.