HOUSTON – The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is Saturday, and it has special meaning for one Houston woman.
Amber Gillespie, 27, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. She is young, successful, full of life and in a battle for her life.
"I was very surprised because I'm a very active, healthy individual," Gillespie said. "Out of all my family members, I was least likely to have some kind of major illness."
She has stage-two cancer. She dealt with the diagnosis head-on and held an informational session for her family and friends because her diagnosis and treatment were quick.
Gillespie began chemotherapy eight days after she was diagnosed.
"During chemotherapy I experienced a lot of depression being away from my friends," she said.
She lost her hair and ended up having a mastectomy.
Her family has been going on the journey to beating the cancer with her.
"My parents were very strong," Gillespie said. "I'm sure behind the scene they weren't as strong, but for me they were very strong. My sister has been my go-to gal. She's been my chauffer. She brought me food. She's my historian. She's scrapbooking everything for me."
Gillespie said she hopes her story can help others.
"There's really no explanation why I got breast cancer," she said. "It's really been a blessing in disguise because now I can be an advocate for young women."
Gillespie is back at work and feeling better, but her journey isn't over. She will soon have a full body scan to make sure the chemotherapy and radiation did its job. She'll have reconstructive surgery in about six months.