Survivor celebrates nearly 40 years cancer free

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and health professionals will tell you that early detection is key.

In this month's Think Pink spotlight Amber Philpott has the story of a Lexington woman and her brave decision nearly 40 years ago that not only saved her life but that of her unborn baby.

Three generations is something special.

When 76 year old Doris Cannon looks back on the last 40 years, she doesn't have to look any farther than her daughter Stephanie to see how lucky she is.

" I just did what any other person or mother would have done," said Doris Cannon.

What she did was save two lives.

When Doris was 37-years-old she was preparing to become a new mother, but five months into her pregnancy she made a startling discovery.

"I found it by self examination, it was under the local right breast, it was bout the size of a pea," said Cannon.

She knew right away it was probably cancer.

So in March of 1974, with the birth of her first child just months away Doris made a radical decision to have a complete mastectomy, its something her daughter still gets emotional about.

" I just feel blessed that she decided to go on and have the surgery that it was worth the risk," said Stephanie Smith.

The risk was losing Stephanie, but just a few months later in July Doris delivered a healthy baby girl and life went on for the family.

For Stephanie and Doris they feel their mother/daughter bond is extra special.

As Stephanie approaches a big birthday, it also signals a huge milestone for her mother. It will soon be 40 years as a survivor for Doris, something celebrated at this year's annual Race For the Cure.

"Mom and I have always been close and to know that every day is special when you hit a milestone like this, if she had not made the decision she made things could really be different," said Smith.

Now its about the next generation, Kayleigh-Ann and making her aware of her family history.

Doris attributes her longevity to a higher being.

She says she never passes up a chance to talk about her journey and she encourages women to do their self exams and stay on top of their mammogram schedule.

This Friday October 25, you can help in the fight against breast cancer by attending the first ever Pink Prom in Lexington. The event is your chance to get dressed up in your "old" prom dress and help raise money for Komen Lexington.

Pink Prom will be held at the Grand Reserve at 903 Manchester Street in Lexington, Kentucky.

For more on how to get your tickets click on the link below.

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