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Emily Wheeler

For Emily Wheeler (Absentee Shawnee Tribe), being diagnosed with breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, never seemed like a possibility. Naturally, Emily didn’t worry too much when she spotted a lump on her breast

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Kris Rhodes

“Had I not had a Pap test, [the cancer] would have progressed.” The American Indian Cancer Foundation’s CEO Kris Rhodes, MPH (Bad River and Fond du Lac Chippewa), is speaking out about her cervical cancer experience for the first time in recognition of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. “Early detection may have saved my life.”

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Joni Buffalohead

Joni Buffalohead (Bdewakanton Dakota of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) has been getting regular Pap tests since she was a teenager. Following her second pregnancy at 30 years old, she received an abnormal Pap result. She returned to the doctor for follow-up care after giving birth to twin boys where she received the devastating news that she would need to have a full hysterectomy.

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Lugene Flores

Lugene Flores (Oglala Lakota) is a fierce advocate for Pap tests after ignoring results had a huge impact on her life. After the birth of her son at 24 years old, she received an abnormal Pap test result at a routine care appointment. Instead of following up with her doctor, she switched from clinic to clinic for ten years, scared of what the abnormal result might mean. She didn’t face it until frequent heavy, painful periods started in her mid-30s.

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Andrea Rutstein

Andrea Rutstein (Oglala Lakota) was just 15 years old when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare cancer that forms in skeletal muscle tissue. At the time she knew there were too many goals she still needed to accomplish, so much more she wanted to do.

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Richard & Kathy Boswell

In 2012, Richard Boswell (Oneida Nation) was referred to a urologist after he started to experience sudden, frequent urination and erectile dysfunction. At the time Richard believed these problems would go away on their own, so he ignored the doctor’s recommendation

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Mary Ann Cook

“I can do this,” Mary Ann Cook (Red Lake Ojibwe) reminded herself each day after finding out she had cervical cancer. A young mother and newly registered nurse, Mary Ann was just 26 when abnormal bleeding turned a fun family getaway into an anxiety-inducing stay in the emergency room. And while she admits the diagnosis…

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