Bay Area woman beats aggressive breast cancer, gives back to those still fighting

Ghada Skaff Lieser, 41, is in a different place than she was two years ago when she got her first mammogram and a dreaded diagnosis.

"There was a lump and it turned out to be breast cancer. It was stage-two, triple-positive, meaning hormone receptors and HER2 positive and it was in my lymph nodes," Skaff Lieser shared.

Her emotional response was immediate.

"Fear, anger. I immediately could not process anything," commented Skaff Lieser.

READ Breast cancer patient crusades for others fighting the battle

Since the cancer was in her lymph nodes, she needed tough chemotherapy to treat it.  

"The chemo was one of the hardest concoctions of the chemo you can get. In the end, it's a real fight, it really is...losing your hair in front of your children, not eating, not being able to go on with your daily activities, being fatigued within a few steps," said Skaff Lieser.

The pandemic added further complications.

"Distance learning with three children. It was a really difficult journey and then I ended up getting a lumpectomy in March 2020," explained Skaff Lieser.

READ Young breast cancer survivor documents her battle through Instagram

To celebrate her victory in the hard-fought battle, Skaff Lieser rang the bell to mark the end of treatment. 

"It was a great moment and it was a moment that was celebrated. I took that opportunity to make the announcement to Facebook to say I'm done you know the worst is behind us," said Skaff Lieser.

Now she's giving back by raising money for the American Cancer Society and the Making Strides walks.

"I had a particularly aggressive type of cancer that had the people before me not spent the time and effort to raise money for the research that produced the targeted therapies that eviscerated my cancer, I would not be here today. So it means a whole lot and that means that I have to pay it forward for those that are struggling now, that will be struggling," she said. 

READ Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Ways to reduce risk and detect it early

Now, this survivor is part of a village of support. 

"There's something really powerful about a community coming together with a shared determination to get rid of cancer there's hope for those that are fighting it. There's a message you're not alone. We’re here. We're fighting for you," stated Skaff Lieser.

The American Cancer Society Making Strides in-person walks will return in October. Sign-up is underway for the events.

These walks raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research and programs.

Making Strides Walk Dates

  • October 2- Raymond James Stadium - Tampa (Hillsborough County)
  • October 9- The Shops at Wiregrass - Wesley Chapel (Pasco County)
  • October 9- Lake Mirror Promenade - Lakeland (Polk County)
  • October 16 - Nathan Benderson Park - Sarasota (Sarasota/Manatee County)

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