CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You know that recommendation to get a mammogram every year when you're 50? Throw that out the window. Tiffany Nam is proof that positive, younger women can get breast cancer too.
"When I was 25, I went to my physical exam, like a good 25-year-old who had just gotten out of pharmacy school," Nam said. "The doctor called back a week later and told me I had Stage II breast cancer."
"Had I waited six months, I don't really know," she said. "My physical saved me.
Scary to hear - especially because her mom was already fighting ovarian cancer. A year after Nam's diagnosis, her mother passed away. Nam and her sister leaned on each other, always keeping a positive – but direct – attitude.
They took hospital selfies at Nam's hospital visits, dressed up as super foods for Halloween – "Because we were 'Super People.' Nam says – and as friends were getting married sending out Save The Date's, Nam sent a Save the Date of her own, marking her last day of chemo.
The journey was tough, but Nam says the financials of it all were part of the hardest to really understand.
"I've been really lucky to be able to afford all my treatments, mammograms, millions of scans... but it's so expensive. Even when I get the bill in the mail it's like," she pauses to breathe in, "BREATHE really hard because it's so expensive."
Which is one reason Nam will be walking in Komen Charlotte's Race for the Cure on Oct. 7. She says she wants to help all those who are in the same spot she was in, which is the spot she beat and won and got through, but doesn't have the insurance or funds to pay.
"You do what you gotta to do get through it, so you can live," Nam says. "And those of us lucky enough to have insurance and help, should get out and aid those who are fighting but could use some assistance."
"Plus," she says brightly. "The morning is just full of fun and laughter. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Join her - join us at the race this year. If you want to sign up for our WBTV News Team, you can go here. It's $35 to register and for that you get two t-shirts, a Komen Charlotte t-shirt and a WBTV #TeamMolly shirt!
Last year there were approximately 17,000 people in uptown Charlotte for the race. This year the race is in a new location, which is closer to Romare Bearden Park.