Christie's story: KUAM staffer's triumphant story of beating can - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Christie's story: KUAM staffer's triumphant story of beating cancer

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Today is a special day for all of us here at KUAM. Throughout the day and in everything we did our entire team all wore the color pink in loving appreciation of the strength, courage, and humanity that one of our own exhibited recently in what became the toughest fight of her life, which is a story that continues to inspire us.

Today - and everyday - we think pink today for not just a colleague, but a family member.

And although it may be a familiar story, KUAM office manager Christie San Agustin is a survivor of breast cancer. She's one of the lucky ones - it was detected early and she immediately got the help she needed. Saturday, August 10, 2013 was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and within a week began her first chemotherapy treatment. "And from there I had five more treatments, every three weeks was a session," she recalled.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Guam, and for Christie its an illness that hits all to close to home. Cancer runs in her mother's side of the family. "We actually buried my mom's sister who had breast and ovarian cancer a year ago she died September 16h last year a month after a found out I had cancer we lost her and she battled breast cancer for over 20 years, then ovarian hit her the last ten years and then it just took her," San Agustin explained.

Because cancer runs in her family, Christie knew not to wait and act immediately after he fifth chemo treatment. She and her husband Joe left for Washington in December last year to visit family before having surgery to remove her breast at Cedars Sinai hospital in California.

"A week later we saw the breast surgeon for a follow up we weren't sure if we're cancer free what's the next steps when we asked the question if we were cancer free she said we were, we were crying we were ecstatic," she said.

By sharing her story, Christie is hoping to inspire other women to make sure they do self-exams and if of age to get their annual mammogram.  She said, "If you sense something is wrong go get checked don't wait - that's my biggest thing don't wait for it to get worse. We caught my cancer early I was Stage I. I'm grateful, I found it early and acted on it I didn't wait. That's the best advice I can give to the women out there to not wait and just get checked right away."
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