By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News
PONTE VEDRA, FL -- She didn't have to think twice. She marched right to her kitchen drawer and pulled out a tablespoon. Maggie Hedberg is that type of person. No waffling around.
"I can tell you exactly what it felt like," she says.
"I was taking a shower and doing my usual checking and I came across it."
She says the lump felt just a spoon cupped in her hand.
"The first thing I thought of was breast cancer," Maggie says.
Maggie admits she didn't do Buddy Check every single 12th of the month. But she checked pretty often. And it's a good thing she found her breast cancer because it was already an advanced stage 3 (on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the worst).
Now Maggie is steaming right along. She had a lumpectomy, and then doctors weren't satisfied they'd gotten all the cancer. So she had to go back for a mastectomy to have her entire left breast removed. So, yes, it's been a struggle so far. But she keeps a fiery spirit. She did her Buddy Check interview without a cap or wig. Being bald is a sign of courage. And the card she keeps nearby from her dad says, "You go, girl!"
Maggie now encourages everyone to do Buddy Check 12.
"I think it's a great program. I made me more aware of what I needed to do," she explains.
And now her daughter, Erin, knows she's at higher risk of breast cancer because her mom's been diagnosed.
Maggie says, "I'm on her all the time."
I can't tell you Maggie's story, though, without this part. I was handing out Buddy Check 12 kits and a pretty young woman approached me. It was Erin. Her eyes filled up with plump tears and she said, "My mom's going through that right now." I could tell in an instant how much Erin loves her mom. And that's the reason Buddy Check 12 is so important. Women, do it for the people who need you alive. As Erin says, "She's my mom and she's my best friend."
Maggie's lump was typical. It was firm. She could tell right away it was different than the rest of the lumps and bumps in her breast. And she did the right thing by calling her doctor immediately.
So we say congratulations to Maggie for doing it the smart way.
Meanwhile, are you checking? We've made it easy for you. Just order a Buddy Check 12 kit with free reminder stickers for you calendar. We'll mail you as many as you'd like at no charge. Just call our partner, Baptist Health, at (904)202-CARE. And bug your buddy, too!
First Coast News