"My sister saved my life." So says Jennifer Montgomery, a 55-year-old East Rockaway resident who had put off her mammogram for a few years. "It was foolish, especially since I've been in the health field for so long," says Montgomery, who works at Beth Israel Medical Center.

But when her sister was diagnosed, it inspired her to get checked immediately.

She was surprised to discover she had advanced stage cancer.

The good news: Today, a year since surgery, Montgomery is cancer free.

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She calls herself "forever grateful" for the support she received from family, friends and co-workers.

"This experience has renewed my faith in the kindness and love that mankind can have for one another," she says. "I know that the Lord will use this episode in my life for His purpose and trust that if I am able to encourage just one person to get checked before it's too late, it will have been worth the effort."