Mom and daughter both fighting breast cancer together
By Jackie Orozco, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Doctors say the chances of a 20-year-old woman getting breast cancer is 18 in a million. Ever heard of an 18 year old with breast cancer? It's unheard of for many doctors. But we found a Volusia County teen who’s fighting stage three breast cancer.
Emily Carnes is a typical Seabreeze High School Senior, who loves taking selfies, enjoys life, and she’s pretty funny too. But this 18-year-old girl's was turned upside-down about six months ago, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“No matter where I turn, there’s always somebody on my side saying it’s OK, keep your head up high, you got this, you’re already a survivor,” she said. “I am contemplating on going bald. I got to put some sunscreen on it though. I haven’t tanned my head.”
Emily found a lump shortly after her 18th birthday. It started to get worse real fast.
“November and December came, and it became inflamed to where it was my whole breast. It became very red and painful and irritated.”
By February she had an ultra sound done in Palm Coast and got her results.
"She said that I was diagnosed with stage three invasive breast cancer,” Emily explained.
But that wasn't the bad news for Emily. Like any woman, especially a teenager, having the perfect hair is a big deal.
"Having cancer isn’t depressing to me," she said. "It’s a milestone I have to get through, but the one thing that would hurt is losing my hair.” Right after her first chemo treatment, and before her hair started to fall out, she decided to beat cancer to the punch.
“Went in the backyard, put it in pigtails, and chopped it off and shaved it.”
As if Emily doesn’t have enough to worry about, she found out some more bad news. This time, it came from one of her biggest supporters, her mother.
“There was some genetic testing done, and I found that we carry a gene that makes getting breast cancer very high during our lifetime,” said Emily's mom, Kendra. “We got the same exact triple-negative invasive breast cancer.”
You have better odds of winning the lottery than having a mother and daughter fighting the same aggressive breast cancer, at the same time, but both of these women are staying positive.
Mom hasn’t started her chemotherapy yet. She was just diagnosed with the same disease a couple of weeks ago. Emily has done 6 treatments, and has 10 more to go.
"I feel very drained, but I still go to school, I still see my friends, I still go to work. I try to live normal as much as I can.”
They believe everything happens for a reason and hope their story will inspire others to get checked out even when the odds are against you.
"Check for lumps, check for anything! Don’t let it, 'Eh, it’s a lump. It’ll go away' It might be something cancerous you never know," Emily said.
There’s a fundraiser for Emily going this weekend. The Daytona Cubs are also helping out on May 28, when Emily will throw the first pitch. If you would like more information about these events, click on the links below: