Brittany Corbitt and Ashlee Hunt are two unlikely friends. Breasties, as some would call them. Yes… Breasties. These friends are part of a group of 15 young women who have all experienced breast cancer. Here are their stories.
At the end of April 2014, Brittany noticed a lump in her left breast. Her boyfriend insisted that she go get it checked out, but she put it off thinking it was nothing and thought the lump went away. About two weeks later, she noticed it again. She immediately scheduled an appointment with her OB for the following week. After an exam, her OB wasn’t concerned, but scheduled an ultrasound to ease Brittany’s mind. On May 14, 2014, Brittany’s received an ultrasound, a subsequent 3D mammogram and a biopsy. Two days later, Brittany received news that would change her life. “I got a call that the biopsy came back malignant, as did a spot under my arm,” said Brittany Corbitt. “My initial thought was ‘why does my family have to go through this again?’ We lost my dad to stage 4 kidney cancer in 2009, and at the ripe age of 50. Nothing gives me more motivation than him.”
Brittany went on to have a mastectomy and began chemo in July of 2014. After countless treatments and surgeries, Brittany is here, ready to share her story and spread awareness to young women like herself. “If you feel something abnormal, go get checked. If your doctor says you are too young and not to be worried, go get a second opinion,” says Brittany. “You know your body more than anyone else. I am so fortunate I caught it when I did.”
Ashlee was first diagnosed July on 23rd, 2010 – the day after her 24th birthday – with Stage 2A breast cancer. With no family history of breast cancer and being so young, Ashlee’s diagnosis came as a complete shock. Newly engaged and with dreams of having children, Ashlee and her fiancé Nathan began fertility treatments before starting chemo. Ashlee then endured 16 weeks of chemotherapy. “Chemo was really hard on my body, but I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying life and all that I had. I might’ve been bald, but I was beautiful,” said Ashlee Hunt. Once chemo was complete, Ashlee underwent a double mastectomy where doctors were able to remove the entire tumor and found no evidence of the disease. After recovering from surgery and “beating” cancer, Ashlee and Nathan’s wedding day had finally arrived. “It was a perfect day,” said Ashlee.
On May 18th, 2015, almost 5 years after first being diagnosed, Ashlee was diagnosed with breast cancer recurrence that had spread to her lymph nodes. This time, she found out that she was HER2 positive. “I was only 28, so hearing that my cancer had returned was heartbreaking. I had done everything I could have done so this would not happen,” recalls Ashlee. “Nathan and I were just starting to move forward with our lives when we had to hit the brakes.” As Ashlee’s cancer was more aggressive, so was her treatment plan. She had chemo every week for a total of 19 weeks, followed by multiple surgeries and radiation. However, despite all of this, Ashlee and Nathan welcomed a baby boy via surrogate in October 2017.
Today, Ashlee hopes that her story will be able to inspire others who may be going through a difficult situation. “Ever since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I have been very open about my battle,” says Ashlee. “Cancer has a way of bringing people together and I’m so blessed to have met so many wonderful people because of it. I am surrounded by so much love and happiness, and it made my battles against breast cancer easier.”
This group of 15 young women texts all day, every day. Being 26-and 24-years-old when Brittany and Ashlee were first diagnosed, almost no one could relate to what they were going through… except someone going through the same thing. “We thank God every day for these girls. We were total strangers before cancer, and now we can honestly call them our good friends,” says the pair. “We make each other laugh daily and talk about all things related to chemo, other treatments, recovery and side effects.” No one should have to go through cancer without support, and with the Breasties, Brittany and Ashlee feel like they’re not alone.
Are you a breast cancer patient, survivor or co-survivor? Have you found support through groups like the Breasties? Tell us your story at the link below!