Florida Breast Cancer Foundation

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Today’s Wonderful Woman is Sherlean Lee, advocate, volunteer and 8 year breast cancer survivor.

Sherlean, a native of New Jersey, lives in Kissimmee, Florida, and is the president of the Orlando chapter of Sisters Network Inc. Like many breast cancer survivors, Sherlean feels strongly about women being their own advocate; “You are in charge of your health,” she said. “Be sure you get your yearly mammogram, your clinical breast exam, and be sure to do your breast self exam.”

Sherlean had just retired from a 32 year career with the US Postal Service and was looking forward to her new life in retirement when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She woke up one morning and saw a lump in her breast. Her gynecologist referred her to a surgeon specializing in breast surgery who confirmed the lump was cancerous.

Sherlean had the choice of having a lumpectomy or mastectomy. She chose the mastectomy. “Thank God, she said, “I chose the mastectomy.” Underneath the large lump was a smaller one, also cancerous. “If I had not decided to remove the original one, I probably would not be alive today. I later discovered that my first cousin had had breast cancer ten years before me, but never mentioned it.”

Although she received support from local groups and the American Cancer Society, Sherlean realized she needed ongoing support. A friend had sent her information on the Sisters Network, a National African American Survivor Organization. She soon moved to Kissimmee and discovered that the nearest chapter was in Jacksonville. Feeling that others also needed ongoing support, she started the Orlando Chapter.  The organization brings awareness of breast cancer to the African American Community, which is underserved throughout the country. Sherlean is generous in her commitment to spreading the word and also supports the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation by representing the Foundation at Health Fairs in the Orlando area and attending Lobby Day in Washington DC.

Returning to the theme of advocacy, Sherlean affirmed how important being an advocate is to her. “I feel my life was spared for a reason,” she said. “But for the grade of God, my story could have had a different ending.” Sherlean Lee, we salute you for the Wonderful Woman you are!!!!