WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“The 2023 statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life and one in 833 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Dr. Allison Thomas with Good Samaritan Hospital’s Breast Care Center said.

Jodee Minks, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a teacher to many was one of those statistics.

“I was just not feeling good,” she said.

Jodee then saw her gynecologist for her annual exam and continued to not feel like herself. A week later she said she found a lump in the upper portion of her breast. That’s when a mammogram was ordered.

“They found that it was breast cancer.” From there she said everything happened so fast. She was set up with a surgeon, and the tumor was removed.

“They told me it was very aggressive and that I probably had three to six months to live,” she said. “The first thing that went through my mind was my kids. My girls. Tyra was 11 and Megan was 6. And I was just, Lord please let me see them, you know, dance recitals, softball games, get married, graduate. All those things.”

Jodee recalled how good her doctor was with her girls. Explaining to them what their mom was going through. That their mom would get really sick before she could get better. Jodee began treatments.

“Three months of chemo and then it was 33 rounds of radiation,” she said. “99% of your survival is your attitude. So, I knew right there, ‘Lord give me peace, get me through this. This is all in your hands.’ And he sure did.”

That was 19 years ago.

“I look back 19 years, and every time there’s a birthday or every time there’s something great in your life, I just got my first grandbaby, baby Krew, and you know, those things. It’s just a blessing. But you know, all of those hard times, you can always outweigh the hard times with the good times and all the blessings the Lord gives you in your life.”

Jodee encourages others to know their body. “Anything wrong or you don’t feel right, or you’re concerned go see your doctor. Get your yearly mammograms.

When should you get your first mammogram?

Dr. Thomas said, “Current guidelines recommend that you start mammograms at 40 years old unless you have a family history.” Thomas went on to say that as early as 25 years old you should start a conversation with your provider about your family history.

Jodee thanks God for allowing her to continue doing what she was called to do. Teaching children about God’s love and grace and making a difference in the lives of others.

“I’m very thankful, very blessed, I thank the Lord he’s not through with me yet,” she said.