Tami Ausland


I’m 35 years old. In 2005, I decided to sign up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day® walk in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. My mother’s sister is an 11-year survivor; however, she isn’t not the only reason I decided to walk. I was not a woman anyone would consider “active.” However, my boss was a volunteer in the 2004 3-Day event and her experience made me want to join her to walk in 2005. The 3-Day changed my life, but not in the way one would expect.

I have worn the pink bracelet every day. I was wearing that same pink bracelet when I had my annual physical exam a week after my 35th birthday in September, 2006. My doctor saw the bracelet and she asked about my involvement as she knew I had walked in 2005 and I informed her that I signed up to walk again in 2007. This brought up the topic of a base-line mammogram, which she offered since I was now 35. I said “sign me up!” and a week later, I had my base-line mammogram. There was an abnormality found in my left-breast. The lump could not be felt by me or my doctor. A biopsy was performed 2 weeks later, and I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, estrogen positive. Because my margins were positive and based on my age, I opted for a mastectomy. On November 16, 2006 I had a mastectomy and a sentinel node biopsy. My nodes were clean and all the cancer was removed with the mastectomy. I am waiting for the Oncotype DX results to determine my course of treatment. I feel incredibly lucky, blessed and I firmly believe that I am surrounded by angels. I knew when I signed up to walk in the 2005 3-Day that someday breast cancer was going to affect my life. Some people say “why me?” I say “why NOT me.”