It was no way to celebrate your 15th wedding anniversary.

On June 11, 2003, Barbara Lynn Meringolo got the news that her routine mammogram had come back positive for the form of breast cancer known as DCIS.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“I had thought you had to have a family history to get it, especially in your 40s, but that’s a myth,” says Barbara.

After a single mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Barbara opted to get her ovaries removed, since blood work showed her to be “estrogen positive,” meaning her chances of developing cancer in her second breast were higher than average. Cancer-free for six years, Barbara credits her positive attitude to her “Supporting Sisters in Pink” group, which she started in Stony Brook in 2004.

“They are an incredible group of women, and I feel like I’ve known them my whole life.”

Their support helped Barbara get through her most recent crisis, when she was hit by a car in December.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“Between my cancer and my accident, these experiences could have crippled me physically and emotionally. Instead, I live my life with joy and optimism.”