Tampa woman battling breast cancer for second time continues inspiring others

Fighting cancer during a pandemic is not easy but this is not Ilyasha Hood’s first fight.

Three years ago, she started a new job at Ultimate Medical Academy and had just bought her first house when doctors gave her a stage three breast cancer diagnosis.

She fought through months of chemotherapy, 16 clinical trials, and invasive surgery, and emerged on the other side cancer-free.

But things took a turn.

“This past June I got diagnosed with breast cancer again. I currently have stage four and it has moved to my brain and my spine," said Hood.

She just finished her second brain surgery, a cycle of radiation, and now she has chemotherapy once a week. 

And she's still going to work when she can.

Her bosses not only support her recovery, but they also put together a UMA team for the annual American Cancer Society Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk last year.

They brought the largest group of participants in the nation to the walk, raising $44,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The ACS uses the funds to help cancer patients in tangible ways, like providing lodging for those who need to be close to a cancer hospital and free rides to treatment.

It's why Hood is participating again in this year’s virtual walk

"People still have cancer. I know [COVID-10 is] a global pandemic but we still have a need for the American Cancer Society," she said.

The American Cancer Society invites everyone to Walk Your Way, Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18. You can join a team, walk with friends and family or walk on your own, wherever you are.

To find out how to participate in the virtual Making Strides events, visit www.makingstrideswalk.org/TampaFL.