Theola Grandison and Jeannie Blaylock remind ladies to check under their arms for self breast exams
Theola Grandison, our featured survivor for July Buddy Check 12
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "Check under" is the beginning of a Buddy Check message from Beaches resident, Theola Grandison. And we'd all be smart to listen to Theola. She survived Stage 4 breast cancer.
Theola says she is faithful now to Buddy Check and urges her daughter to check, as well. She says make sure you check under your arm, too.
Good advice. Medical experts say the number-one spot for breast cancer is that outer quadrant of your breast, which runs up under your arm.
Theola found a tiny lump no bigger than a small diamond stud. She thought it was nothing, but over time it grew to the size of an egg.
"I prayed a lot," she says. "I never thought I would die."
But she says learning that the chemotherapy had not shrunk her tumor enough to avoid a mastectomy made her "scream and yell a bit."
It's hard to imagine Theola upset because this grandmother has a big smile and a positive spirit now. She's celebrating being a survivor.
And to celebrate she went shopping at her favorite Beaches store, Ellie Bing. She picked up a giant shell to listen to the sound of the ocean and remarked it helped her pause and appreciate that she is breathing.
Theola is like many women, not thrilled to go through breast cancer but happy to discover their own inner strength.
If you'd like a free Buddy Check 12 kit, just call our partner, Baptist at 904-202-CARE. First Coast News and Baptist have been partnering on this project for 20 years.
Buddy Check has saved hundreds of lives on the First Coast.
If you find a lump, especially if it's hard or unusual to your touch, call a doctor. If you need a mammogram, you can inquire if you qualify for a free one by calling 904-202-PINK.
Share your Buddy Check story on Facebook and LIKE Buddy Check 12.
You can also email Jeannie Blaylock.
First Coast News