Two survivors talk about thriving after breast cancer.
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On today’s episode of Up To Speed, host Diana Alvear introduces an inspiring conversation between breast-cancer survivors Kathy Grillo, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, and Adrienne Williams, a member of the Verizon Consumer Group Inside Sales team, who open up about taking care of our health, spreading awareness and following through on important steps that can allow for prevention.
In addition to leading Verizon's Public Policy and Government Affairs team, Kathy is also a three-time breast-cancer survivor who was first diagnosed in 2004, when she was 35. In 2018, she was diagnosed again and underwent surgery. And when the cancer returned last year, she elected to undergo a double mastectomy. Kathy’s personal experience is a major reason why she advocates for breast-cancer awareness and prevention.
Based out of Atlanta, Adrienne has been a member of the Verizon family for 11 years. She revealed that breast cancer runs in her family, citing diagnoses for her two older cousins and two aunts. Adrienne scheduled routine physicals in her 30s, informed doctors about her family history, and started getting mammograms at 36. During the pandemic, she was due for a physical but almost canceled it; she says going through with the appointment saved her life.
Adrienne recalled how hard it was to hear the diagnosis, but also expressed how fortunate she felt to be a V Teamer throughout the process. Recalling the immense support she received from her bosses, she also credited Verizon's extensive benefits, including time off to recover. After enduring four rounds of chemotherapy and 25 weeks of radiation, Adrienne is cancer-free.
Much like Kathy, Adrienne wants to raise breast-cancer awareness, especially among Black women. According to the American Cancer Society, Black women have the highest breast-cancer mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
Adrienne encouraged everyone to get regular checkups, talk with their doctors and prioritize themselves. She understands that life can get hectic, but early prevention can save your life.
She believes it saved hers.