Philadelphia Woman With Ovarian Cancer On Mission To Save Others This Mother’s Day Weekend – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sunday is Mother’s Day and Saturday is World Ovarian Cancer Day. It will be a difficult weekend for a Philadelphia woman because ovarian cancer has taken away her ability to be a mother. But instead of heartache, she’s on a mission to save others.
There are often no symptoms for ovarian cancer until it is advanced and there is no screening for early detection. That is why there is a great urge for more research.
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They are high school students who have always dreamed of starting a family, but ovarian cancer has stolen that dream from 27-year-old Lexi Mestas, who lives in Philadelphia.
“So there has been mourning,” said Mestas. “A grieving idea of a family, mourning what our children may have been like.”
She was just diagnosed in February and this will be her first Mother’s Day knowing she will never be a biological mother.
“Never feeling like I’m going to be celebrated that way is awful,” she said. “It is real.”
And there is the shock of a deadly cancer, shaving her head, undergoing surgery and treatment, but Mestas does not wallow in grief. She’s on a mission.
“It is very important that we have money for research,” she said, “because it can add years to our lives.”
Mestas volunteers with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, advocating for more research funding, and empowering other young women.
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“It’s called ‘the assassin’ because it can really mask itself,” she said.
Does she think if she had been diagnosed earlier she would be in a different situation?
“Yes,” she said.
Mestas was misdiagnosed for seven months due to gastrointestinal issues. That’s a common symptom, along with bloating.
“Had I been educated, I might have used my voice better,” Mestas said. “And of course we trust our doctors, but sometimes doctors can be wrong.”
Like Rocky, she fights back and hopes to save others along the way.
“It really opened my eyes to how precious life is and how I appreciate every day,” she said, “and even when I only have a limited amount of time, how powerful my voice can be and that’s why I’m grateful for that . “
Saturday, for World Ovarian Cancer Day, Mestas will be featured along with 30 other women in a billboard campaign that will take place in Times Square and also London to raise awareness.
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