Diagnosed at 30

Published 09/27 2013 10:29AM

Updated 09/27 2013 10:38AM

Many of us know someone who has had breast cancer.  A relative, a friend, a co-worker. 

One woman in Hopkins County isn't the typical breast cancer patient.   At age 30, Sandra Betts had a new house, Two little boys, and a diagnosis nobody wants to hear.

"Life was great, and it's really been turned upside down."  In a matter of days, our life was completely interrupted." 

Sandra is fighting a battle most common in women aged 50 to 55 years old.  But she's much younger.

"Here I am, small town girl, 30 years old, with a wonderful home, a great family, a strong faith, and i am slapped with one of the hardest cancers."

Sandra was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer.

"And come to find out, it's been developing for a while."    

The second, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, is one of the rarest, most invasive and aggressive types of cancer, with only a 40 percent survival rate.

"That's a failing grade by any standard, and I've never been a failure.  I've never failed in anything, and I'm not going to fail at this!"

Sandra has a family history of cancer, but she didn't think she'd be at risk for several years.

"It really does happen to people our age, people younger than us."

To beat the cancer, she'll have to use a triple threat of treatments: Chemo, radiation, and eventually, a double mastectomy.  But for now, all she can think about are her two boys, two year old J-D and ten year old Blake. 

"The feeling of not being able to take care of my children is devastating as a mother."

She stays strong through her faith, reading her bible every day.

"From the very first time I heard him say, "you have cancer," I knew that God was in control."

Sandra refuses to let cancer get her down.

"I suddenly realized that I'm immortal.  I will die at some point.  But cancer is not going to be the reason why."

Even through her struggles, Sandra is thinking of ways to give back to others.  She donated her hair to Locks of Love, and will also be sponsoring a poker run on October 5th to raise funds for others battling cancer.

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