American Cancer Society honors Alabaster cancer survivor | News
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)- If you are a cancer survivor you know how tough the fight is.
A survivor from Alabaster, who underwent three surgeries, is considered an inspiration to many. On Tuesday, Somer Miller will be given one of the American Cancer Society's life inspiration awards. The survivors chosen for this award have stories that give hope to others dealing with cancer.
Miller was diagnosed with cancer at 28-years-old and she told me she had no choice but to fight it. For her, it was a long, tough battle.
It all began in 2004 when Somer, a wife and mother of a 1-year-old, discovered a lump in her armpit. Her doctor referred her to a surgeon, who determined it was a cancerous lymph node and had to be removed.
"I woke up from the surgery and my best friend, husband and doctor all in tears. I remember saying I'm going to be fine, I'm going to beat this," said Miller.
Though the lymph node was removed the cancer was still in her body. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation, but then there was more bad news. Somer tested positive for the BRCA cancer gene.
"Which means there was no way of me getting around. I would definitely get breast cancer at some point in my life," said Miller.
She learned the gene also meant she could face ovarian cancer, so Somer had to get a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. It was a scary time for her thinking about the "what ifs" of it all.
"I thought I was tough until I came home looking at my 1-year-old baby. I couldn't look at her without tearing up, thinking 'am I going to make it through this and see her grow up?'" said Miller.
Now, fast forward eight years later, Somer is doing fine, although the chemo left her with a weakened immune system. Her story of bravery and perseverance is why she is receiving the American Cancer Society's Life Inspiration Award. While Somer says she is very excited, in a way she does not feel worthy of such an honor.
"I thought 'of all people why did they decide me?' Because to me, everybody who has to go through chemo, radiation, surgery… anybody who had to live through that should be an award winner," said Miller.
Miller is a teacher at Creekview Elementary School. After she returned back to school from medical leave, she organized teams for the school's participation in "Race for the Cure" events.
Miller and several others with inspiring stories will get the life inspiration award Tuesday. The banquet is at 6:30 p.m. at The Club.
Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.
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