Updated: October 18, 2013 at 8:04 am
Cari Clipperton’s challenging journey began in December 2012, when she found a lump.
Unaware that cancer ran in her family, she later discovered her grandma had breast cancer when she was 80 years old. Clipperton made the appointment to see her doctor – who sent her for a mammogram and an ultrasound.
“During the ultrasound the nurse asked if I had family with me, and at that moment I knew something was wrong,” Clipperton said. “Next up was a biopsy where I was ‘unofficially’ told I had breast cancer. I was in shock.”
Her biopsy was sent for testing and the day after her thirty-sixth birthday doctors diagnosed Clipperton with State II Triple Negative IDC breast cancer. It was aggressive and forced her into chemotherapy right away.
“I remember the day I started losing my hair like it was yesterday,” Clipperton recalled. “At first I cried, then became angry followed by depression. I am a single mom of two and sometimes I felt very alone. The chemo lasted 18 weeks and I was very sick.”
Clipperton said she was able to start dealing with her emotions with the help of her family and friends.
“I got involved with a support group and that is where I met my sisters that have supported and loved me no matter what,” she said.
Clipperton has undergone a double mastectomy and is still going through the reconstructive process. She will also receive Herceptin infusions for the next year.
“During my battle with cancer I realized I had been so blessed,” Clipperton said. “Not only did I meet some of the most wonderful people that helped me get through this, but I had the best doctors who truly cared. My family is stronger and so am I. I am now a fighter and a survivor.”
2013 was the first year Clipperton participated in Race for the Cure, but says she will continue to Race every year.
“My passion is to raise awareness about this disease, especially for younger women,” Clipperton said. “I also want people to find out more about their family and medical history. I will support the Race and Susan G. Komen for my daughter, my nieces, my best friends, my sisters and all women – ‘til we find a cure!”