SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (10/09/2017) It's estimated that over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. Becky Flatness is one of those women, and her story is one of both struggle and hope.
What she originally thought was an injury from a taekwondo tournament turned out to be much more, as the wife and mother of three was diagnosed with Stage 3B Triple-negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on February 25, 2016.
"I was very shocked when I found out because there was no cancer in our family at all," said Flatness.
As Flatness began the journey that would affect her for the next 2 years, she began to notice changes that not only took a toll on her, but her family as well.
"Mom was always tough and could just do anything and mom wasn't tough anymore. I was having to be a different kind of tough," Flatness said.
Despite the hardships that surrounded her battle, Flatness remained strong for her family by finding joy in the little things.
"My sister was there and my family and we just had a head shaving party. And I let them do whatever they wanted shaving it," said Flatness. "I had all kinds of designs on my head and little pony tails here and there, because it was coming out one way or another so why not make it fun."
Flatness is one of the thousands of women in the Ozarks who have fought the breast cancer battle, and like many of those women, she credits much of the support she received throughout her journey to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. BCFO is an organization that seeks to relieve the physical, financial, and emotional burden of those battling breast cancer.
"The foundation has helped over 2500 families with direct financial assistance and literally thousands of women have received a free screening mammogram from BCFO," said Crystal Webster, Executive Director with the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.
Five months of chemo and 33 radiation treatments later, Flatness is currently in remission. Although she doesn't know whether or not the cancer will return, she remains hopeful.
"There's a reason and something good will come out of it," said Flatness.
This past week, the foundation hosted their biggest fundraising event of the year and raised over $600,000 in order to keep providing support across the Ozarks for women like Becky. If you would like to aid in BCFO's mission, click here to be redirected to their page.