Buddy Check 25: Taking charge of your health

By WEEK Producer

October 25, 2013 Updated Oct 25, 2013 at 7:02 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- One in eight women will battle breast cancer in their lifetime. A local woman figured her odds were even greater since her two sisters both fought the disease.

So Becky Strong took action and is reminding everyone to take charge of their health.

Becky and her son Alex are on a journey.

"I don't know what I would do without him,” she said.

It is a path they did not choose, but one they have been down before.

"I just decided that I don't want this to come back,” Becky said. “I don't want to have to worry about it after five years down the road."

Becky is talking about breast cancer, the disease that took her sister Lisa's life nearly two years ago, a disease that another sister, Dede, has already battled, a disease that Becky intends to defeat.

"This is preventative treatment that I'm taking now,” she said.

She is almost done with chemo, but has more than 30 radiation treatments ahead of her. By her side in the fight is Alex. He is a patient care technician at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. He works with cancer patients often and was by his aunt's side as she fought stage 4 breast cancer.

"She caught it very late and part of the time you just wondered, what if she had caught it earlier,” Alex said.

Alex said he is especially thankful his mother's cancer was caught early thanks to breast self-exam and regular screening. Together, he and his mom now raise awareness and funds to support local cancer patients through "Lisa's Ride" an event held every September in Lisa's memory.

It is the 25th of the month. So, Becky and Alex remind you to do your breast self-exam, get screened and tell a buddy to do the same.

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