TAMPA, Fla. - Best friends Danielle Redd and Amanda Dieas have been celebrating and supporting each other since high school.
"We have been through thick and thin, and she is my longest relationship besides my blood family, and she means the absolute world to me," said Dieas.
"We've been through a lot together. She was there for me when my mother passed away in 2014. Breast cancer," said Redd.
Soon, Redd would need to be there for Dieas during her own fight with breast cancer.
"Seven months later, my best friend was diagnosed which was a double-dagger to my heart," said Redd.
"I have no family history of breast cancer, and I was only 38. I truly believe that Danielle was the first person that I called before my husband, before my parents because I didn't know what to do. We had just lost Danielle's mom to breast cancer so that's the only thing that I knew about breast cancer. I had 16 rounds of chemo, 33 rounds of radiation and numerous surgeries after that. I think one of the things I'm most proud of is, I stayed working that entire time," said Dieas.
Redd wanted Dieas to feel the strength from survivors. After her mother's passing, she became actively involved with the American Cancer Society.
When Dieas had her final chemotherapy treatment, Redd took her to a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
"That was a really emotional walk for all of us. Here she was with her scarf on and she was exhausted, and we were like, you can do it, you can do it," said Redd.
"I literally had a scarf on, no hair, pumped full of chemo, pumped full of steroids. It just gave me the drive to make it next year and to keep going and keep raising money, so people can have different treatments," said Dieas.
But last year, there was another hurdle. This time it was Redd.
"She was the very first one I called, right when I got the call that I had the 'C' word, and she raced from work to come to my office and give me a huge hug. She was there for me hours after my double mastectomy," said Redd.
"She won. She's here, and she looks fantastic, and she's a fighter," said Dieas.
This year, it will be another walk to remember for these best friends.
"This is her first walk as a survivor. So it's a very big walk for her and I couldn't be more proud. I didn't think we could get any closer, but we definitely now are bonded. She knows exactly what I went through, and I know exactly what she's going through," said Dieas.
For more information about participating in the upcoming Making Strides events, visit www.makingstrideswalk.org/tampa.