Local Q-C breast cancer survivor shares importance of advocating for yourself and others

DAVENPORT-- The Susan G. Komen foundation of Greater Iowa kicked off breast cancer awareness money with its second annual "Butterfly Brunch" on October 1st.

The event featured local survivor Janet Irwin a breast cancer survivor.

Irwin was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago, but getting doctors to find the cancer made her journey difficult more than it was.

When she first noticed a lump she decided to get a mammogram check at the hospital she had worked at to see if it was cancerous.

"It didn't show up on the mammogram, but I still knew that this was not a normal lump," says Irwin.

Then she ended up seeing her family doctor for his opinion, but again was told it was nothing out of ordinary.

"He said it felt like it was a normal lump," says Irwin.

But even after the second opinion it still didn't sit right with her.

"It' just didn't feel normal to me," said Irwin.

So she decided to get an ultrasound as a third option. That's when she finally got her answer.

"As soon as they put the ultrasound probe on the lump they knew it was cancer by the way it shadowed," said Irwin.

She shared her journey in front of others attending the brunch to emphasize the importance of self advocacy.

"That's how I approached it, because I knew that this wasn't normal. My mother has breast cancer, my sister had breast cancer, and I was very very proactive and very cautious about making sure that I checked myself monthly," says Irwin.

The brunch ended with the release of dozens of butterflies as a sign of hope for those affected by cancer.