Buddy Check 25: Regular self-breast exam saves woman's life - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Buddy Check 25: Regular self-breast exam saves woman's life

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PEKIN, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

There’s more evidence that knowing what's normal for your body can help save your life.

Buddy Check 25's Gina Morss introduces us to a woman who says regular self-breast exam, early detection and caring colleagues are why she's alive today.

Diane Fairow has walked these halls for years as UnityPoint Health-Pekin’s health information supervisor. Then, one day her colleagues unexpectedly became her caregivers.

"It was a shock," she said.

Diane, only 44 at the time, noticed something different in her right breast.

"When I initially felt the lump, I just put it off thinking that it's just a lump. It's gonna go away," Fairow said.

But it didn't, and she knew she had to do something.

Within days, she had an appointment just down the hall at Pekin’s Women's Diagnostic Center.

"It made a huge difference feeling like they were, they really care about me as a person...really personal care I got," said Fairow.

And she would come to rely on that personal attention after feeling another lump in her other breast.

Surrounded by the support of her co-worker/caregivers and family, Diane was compelled to give back once her treatment ended.

Diane's surgeon says she is proud that her patient is part of a breast cancer support group at UnityPoint Health-Pekin.

"I think that is a sign of healing and a sign of giving back to the community and it's a positive signal to anyone who is going through this at a young age and needs that type of positive energy."

A little more than a year after finishing treatment, Diane's prognosis is good and welcomes the return to a regular work schedule.

"I can get through this," she said.

It's a sign that she is definitely a survivor.

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