Heroes Project 2014 – Susan Lee

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“You are your own best advocate” – Susan Lee

Susan Lee could feel the world shifting around her as she heard the news. The doctor delivered it professionally, in a delicate manner, but nothing could have prepared her for the words: “It”s cancer.”

Not just any cancer, but one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer. What some might call a death sentence. But it didn”t deter Susan. She began her fight, battling the disease with strength that would come to surprise her friends, family and even herself.

Five years later, and she”s in remission. The 50-year-old Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners liaison said that having been through the life-changing diagnosis and countless doctor visits, she”s come through it all with a better understanding of the medical world and a greater appreciation for life in general.

“Your faith is first,” she said. “I don”t know how anybody can get through something like this without having a strong faith in God…and the knowledge that he”s going to get you through it.”

She said the support of family and friends also helped her stay strong. Caregivers too were instrumental in her recovery. “We need to do a better job recognizing these people…without them, we”d have a lot more folks that weren”t successful in their survivorship.”

Having a support system is essential, she said, but looking out for yourself is your responsibility. “You are your own best advocate. So many people who have cancer get lost in the system. Folks are afraid to make their doctors and nurses mad. Don”t be. The bureaucracy of it all can get you lost, but stay on it. Be an advocate for yourself.”

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