2012 survivor profile: Theresa Camilleri

“I know how delicate life is. I appreciate

“I know how delicate life is. I appreciate every moment.” - Theresa Camilleri

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One night in March 2006, Theresa Camilleri, then 43, and her husband were watching TV when she felt soreness under her arm. She touched it and felt a lump.

Her long journey began the very next day, when her gynecologist sent her for a mammography and referred her to a breast surgeon. Theresa went to Memorial Sloan-Kettering and within days was diagnosed not only with breast cancer, but also with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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After a lumpectomy, Theresa began chemotherapy and radiation to treat the lymphoma and prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. "The care and support I received from my doctors and the American Cancer Society inspired me to get involved and give back,” says Theresa. “Upon completion of treatments, I began working at ACS.  It was about helping others.  What I didn't realize is how much I would receive in return.

But Theresa's battle didn't end there. She was diagnosed in June 2007 with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood disorder, the same disorder that TV's Robin Roberts is battling. Her lymphoma flared up in October 2008 and required more chemo and treatments.

In October 2009, Theresa had a cord blood transplant and spent months in isolation in the hospital. Today she is in remission. "It's been a rough road, and I am still overcoming obstacles, but I thank God every day for my husband, my two children, family, friends and doctors. I take it one day at a time and let the love get me through it."


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