Breast cancer was a part of Leila’s life even before her diagnosis.
Leila Gashus knows first-hand the impact of breast cancer because both her mother and daughter are breast cancer survivors. Because of her family’s history, Leila was diligent about routinely checking her breasts as she was nervous it would one day affect her as well. It was this diligence that likely saved her life.
When Leila discovered a lump in her right breast, her instincts told her to get it checked immediately. After receiving a referral from her family doctor, Leila visited the IWK’s Breast Health Centre for a mammogram and then a biopsy, which confirmed her greatest fear—the lump was cancer.
Scared but relieved to have caught it in time, Leila underwent a lumpectomy surgery at the IWK, followed by radiation treatment through Nova Scotia Health. She continued to receive regular check-ins with her breast surgeon and, despite the harrowing experience of being diagnosed with and surviving breast cancer, she is grateful for the team and the care they provided in the IWK Breast Health Centre.
“When our community thinks about the IWK, children are what immediately come to mind. However, I wanted to share my story to bring awareness to the exceptional care provided for women at the IWK. Mostly, I want other women to know that the IWK is there for them, too,” says Leila.
After her exceptional experience at the IWK, Leila and her husband Kris were inspired to give back. Through a gift of shares—an alternative to cash donations that still provides donors with a charitable tax receipt—their donation will help fund a specimen radiography unit; equipment that takes high-resolution biopsy images like the kind Leila had taken that ultimately helped save her life.