Two-time breast cancer survivor shares inspiring triumph

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The sound of success has finally come full circle for one breast cancer survivor who has battled the disease twice.

Leticia Solomon’s life was filled with uncertainty in 1996 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

“When they said the word ‘cancer’ to me oh, I was mad. Oh, I was sick to my stomach,” she says. “But that was just for a second because the next second these thoughts went into my mind.”

Solomon thought about seeing her daughter graduate high school and watching her grandchildren grow up.

Though she was fighting for those moments, Solomon was told at one point that she would not pull through.

But facing that reality only fueled her.

“I learned that I was a survivor. So I went in to fight, and I wasn’t going to let that beat me,” says Solomon.

Fighting back presented the mother, and grandmother, more time with her family.

Then in 2013, the unthinkable happened — Solomon was diagnosed with the disease a second time.

She received treatment at the Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s Candler where a survivor bell resides.

The bell ringing tradition was introduced in March 2012.

“Every time I come into this building I walk past that bell,” Solomon explains, “I always wanted to ring that bell. I thought ‘I’m a survivor I should ring that bell.’”

Knowing the tradition of this beacon of hope, News 3’s Tina Tyus-Shaw worked with the hospital to make Solomon’s dream a reality.

Solomon’s co-worker and friend, Sharon Aikens, medical team members and even strangers were invited to cheer Solomon on as she finally got her chance to ring the bell.

“That signifies an end of treatment delivery, but also a beginning to signify there’s more life to live going into survivorship and hope and just having something to look forward to,” explains Pam Proman, Dir. Operations at LCRP.

Solomon says she’s enjoying life and encourages others to fight the disease by taking care of their own breast health.

Check out Buddy Check 3 for simple reminders & additional resources: http://wsav.com/buddy-check-3/

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