By Tim Jimenez
LIMERICK, Pa. (CBS) – On Mother’s Day, thousands of people touched by cancer will be at the Ben Franklin Parkway for the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure. Each person has their own story to tell. One of the participants of the walk shared her story of surviving breast cancer despite a decision that could have had fatal consequences.
“Go get a biopsy,” is what a doctor told Janet Aguilar of Limerick, Montgomery County in 2009. “Which most likely means you have cancer,” she said also recalling the loss of her own mother to cancer in 1997.
Janet, a mother of two daughters, was then diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. However, there was a major problem that she and her husband Mike had to deal with. “Oh no, I had no health insurance, how am I going to pay for all of this?” she thought.
The Aguilars are co-owners of a small real estate agency in Harleysville, Montgomery County. When the economy was at its lowest point, and the housing bubble burst, the two decided to drop their medical insurance. “We’re young enough. Nothing is going to happen to us and we’ll just be careful,” was the thought process according to Mike. “When that diagnosis came and we didn’t have it that was her biggest concern.”
With no where seemingly to go, Janet reached out to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “They told me where to go, who to go see and I did that and I did not see one bill,” she said.
The Aguilars went through a grant process through the foundation and said it covered Janet’s cancer treatments and surgery.
“I was with her for every chemo treatment, every radiation treatment and the surgery,” Mike said. “Cancer, yes it’s always going to be part of our lives, but cancer is not our first and foremost thought anymore like it used to be.”
Mike, who says he still thinks of his wife as his “girlfriend” since they’ve been together since he was 17 and she was 15, said he feels grateful now and does not sweat the everyday problems in life.
Both praised the doctors who treated Janet and said it wouldn’t be possible without the foundation’s help. Now, feeling better and cancer-free, Janet has a lot to look forward to. “Having my beautiful grandson, one also on the way. My daughter’s getting married. I’m going to dance at her wedding!”