Meet Ivey...


As a young mother of two toddlers, Ivey has hands plenty of full. She is a proud wife to a solider and acted as the Family Readiness Group Leader for over 300 soldiers and their families, making sure every family member is taken care of in addition to hosting monthly events. When Ivey’s husband returned from deployment in Iraq, they decided to have one more baby. Freshly pregnant with their third child, Ivey found a painful lump in her left breast.

As Ivey had recently stopped breast feeding her one year old son, she thought the lump was just a clogged milk duct and scheduled an appointment with her OBGYN. Her doctor referred her for an ultrasound. Ivey didn’t wait; she drove to the office without setting up an appointment and asked for the ultrasound. Following the ultrasound, a biopsy was scheduled a few days later. At this point Ivey was prepared for the worst. And within fives days, she got the bad news: in her first trimester with her third child and at the age of 28, Ivey had breast cancer.

Rather than cry about it, Ivey immediately said “Ok so what do we do now?” She wanted a plan. While her husband was still reeling from the news, Ivey was told a surgeon would call within the next few days with the next steps and they were sent home. As they walked to the car, Ivey looked at her husband and said with incredible strength, “We are not going to cry over this or think ‘poor me’. We have two children that need their parents to act normal, like nothing is going on.” Ivey refused to be a victim of cancer; she knew that the only way to conquer this was to fight and have no fear.

When Ivey met her surgeon, she was also introduced to Donna Banks, the Breast Health Coordinator at Good Sam. At first, Ivey wondered why there was a second person accompanying the surgeon into the room; she did not want to share this with anyone other than who NEEDED TO KNOW. The surgeon gave Ivey a few options and after a quick thought, Ivey said, “Take it away.” The surgeon thought she was joking because she hadn’t taken much time to weigh her options. But Ivey said, “We can do it today, I do not care.” The surgeon responded that they could schedule the mastectomy the following day or in three weeks. Without a second thought Ivey said, “Tomorrow. I do not want it to spread any further.”

With Donna’s help, Ivey got organized for what the next day would bring; she provided a bag filled with comforting pink ribbon gifts and pamphlets about breast cancer. Donna explained the process of what the next few days would entail: the surgery, the recovery process, how and when the oncologist would contact her, and provided Ivey with a new type of bra that would hold her drains after the surgery. Ivey found comfort that Donna would be with her every step of the way; to speak with, at doctor appointments, or to email at any given time.

In addition to the mastectomy, Ivey had 28 lymph nodes removed; 19 were cancerous.

Ivey found comfort in the programs and services offered at the Resource Center and checked out books to help her talk to her five year old daughter about what was happening and received a free wig.

Ivey is one strong woman who wants other breast cancer patients out there to know, “You can beat this. Do not let this defeat you. If you need to cry, do it. The people here will take care of you. They will stick by your side and they will give you all the compassion in the world. I know when I walk in there I do not feel that I am pitied, but I do feel support. And if I ever feel that I am getting scared, they let me know it’s ok and they work with me at my pace.”

3.1 miles....

3.1 miles for all the women in your life – mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, friends, cousins and grandmothers. Register for the walk today!