Faces of a Warrior: Nilda Mendoza

Stories of Surviving and Thriving

June 12, 2016
Categories: 

Age: 63
Profession: Retired
Type of Breast Cancer: Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer
Year of Diagnosis: 2013
Number of years as a survivor: 3 years
Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Receives services from Komen grantee


My name is Nilda and I am a breast cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, my niece had just passed away from ovarian cancer. My family was so lost in their grief that it was hard for them to be there for me when I was initially diagnosed. That made an already difficult situation worse. At that time, with so little support, I felt like my diagnosis was a death sentence. I was terrified. 

Having cancer affected my everyday life. I had to completely stop working and take care of myself. What followed my diagnoses was six months of chemotherapy, 30 radiation treatments and a lumpectomy. I was fortunate enough to have a small group of friends that were able to help me through my cancer experience, but my treatment felt like being knocked down to the floor. My body felt worthless and it spiraled me down into a deep depression that I still struggle with at times. 

Throughout the treatment process I was told about a support group at the Cancer Support Community that was funded by Susan G. Komen. I started attending the group in 2013 and it has made all the difference. It has strengthened me and taught me so much about life. The women in that group are also going through breast cancer and can relate with everything I have gone through. I never realized just how much strength I had until my fellow survivors showed me. Three years of shared stories, shared experiences, have made those women my new family. Today, I attend conferences and the Komen Race for the Cure to how my support for other breast cancer survivors.

My brother recently passed away from cancer, so it seems this disease will leave a large impact on my family. But, for me, being a survivor means that I have been given the chance to continue living and changing my life for the better. I am slowly trying to get my life back. I love to paint, do ceramics and take long walks. I have learned to appreciate life and move forward in my survivorship journey with my newfound strength. 

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About the Faces of a Warrior Campaign

Last year, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race for the Cure®, Susan G. Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale teamed with 101.5 LITE FM to launch the Faces of a Warrior campaign. 

To mark the 21st Annual Race for the Cure®, Komen is spotlighting 21 survivors to represent each year the Race has run. These individuals are sharing their stories of strength and resilience -- not just of surviving breast cancer, but thriving in spite of it.

Read the stories of more Warriors here

For more information on the Faces of a Warrior campaign -- and other ways you can get involved in the Race for the Cure® -- please email info@komenmiaftl.org or call 954-909-0454