It was 2012 and a month before superstorm Sandy devastated the metro area. Kimberly Callahan, then 30, was running ragged, juggling a full-time job and night classes when she noticed her left breast was "rock-hard," swollen and painful, plus her nipple was inverted. Her gynecologist suspected a spider bite or infection and prescribed anti- biotics. But the condition failed
to clear up.
Soon after, a series of tests revealed the devastating diagnosis: stage II ductal carcinoma of the left breast. "It was a large, aggressive tumor that was HER2-positive," she recalled.
Kimberly's doctors recommended she begin a chemotherapy regimen to shrink the growth before attempting to remove it, but not before she froze her eggs due to the risk of infertility.
Following a course of chemo- therapy, she underwent a double mastectomy two days after superstorm Sandy hit and then endured radiation treatments for 33 days.
Despite her ordeal, Kimberly says she knew in her heart she would be okay. "I never thought for a minute that this was going to beat me," she said.
Eight years later, the Bellmore resident is not only cancer-free but married to "an amazing man" and the mother of a 4-year-old daughter she calls a "miracle baby," whom she conceived naturally.
Kimberly admits cancer was the "hardest fight" of her life, but she is nevertheless grateful for it. So much so, that she volunteers with the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, where she provides a listening ear to young women diagnosed with the disease.