We all think about taking a year off of our daily lives and going on a worldwide adventure. Stephanie Hathaway was doing just that when she discovered something else life-changing.
Teaching English to young African students was a highlight on Hathaway’s one-year adventure around the world. “I spent four months in Africa and then moved on to Thailand,” said Hathaway. There her trip was cut short, when she noticed something wrong.
“I realized that my nipple was inverted, and I didn’t know at the time but that is a very clear sign of breast cancer,” said Hathaway.
A day before her 34th birthday in 2012, far away from home, Hathaway discovered she had an aggressive tumor that had spread. She would later learn it was stage 3 breast cancer thousands of miles away from her home in Tustin, California. She underwent surgery in Thailand and made her way back home for chemo and radiation.
“I just never, never in a million years would I ever have imagined that was the course my trip would take,” said Hathaway.
Hathaway went from climbing mountains to barely being able to walk. But she decided breast cancer wouldn’t keep her down for long. She hit the trails again. Soon, Susan G. Komen’s Orange County’s annual Race for the Cure would give her an even bigger cause to fight for.
That can-do attitude is inspired more than 300 of her co-workers at First American in Santa Ana to form one of the biggest teams at for Komen’s annual 5K. Raising money for a cure is important, but Hathaway says being part of Susan G. Komen is healing.
“I do believe that. We all have the capacity to learn something from it and come out the other side stronger,” said Hathaway.
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