Deette Kellis has been a breast cancer survivor for 11 years. Diagnosed in August of 2004, this strong-willed woman says that losing was NEVER an option for her, "It's a fight, some people give up - I chose to fight!"
Her journey was not without obstacles and almost ended before it even began. After an irregular mammogram led to a biopsy, Deette was scared, "It's the fear of dying. I couldn't stop thinking about my children. Who was going to raise my kids if I was not there?"
That fear, compounded by a biopsy doctor whose bedside manner was anything but textbook, ended up causing a detour in her road to recovery. She recalls waiting weeks, if not months, to plan a follow-up visit, "It was definitely a setback."
It wasn't until a friend directed her to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center at Stony Brook that Deette realized the importance of second opinions. She also slowly began to uncover all of the resources available to people with breast cancer on Long Island from financial help to emotional support, and everything in between. "The bills, the stress, your fear, it's not easy, but it does work out - you just have to believe."
Deette credits her faith and her family for getting her through the darkest days; and she has a message for anyone facing their own battle with breast cancer, "You, too, have to fight! Don't ever give up! I'm alive, I'm here and you will be too!