Aimee is a wife, mother, and president of the Memorial Hospital Foundation. She is committed to our community, continuously volunteering her time and energy, and is always on the go. Those who know Aimee describe her as compassionate, supportive, friendly and empathetic.
One day earlier this year, she received a shocking diagnosis. Now, she’s on a mission to help others.
“You are such a fraud.”
The Memorial Hospital Foundation develops relationships and financial resources to support the patients, employees, and healthcare initiatives of Memorial. During the month of October, the Foundation has a significant presence in the community in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Aimee reflects, “I was 41 years old and had never had a mammogram. It was the month of October, so I was telling other people to go get their mammograms, and I thought to myself, ‘You are such a fraud because you have not had your own.”
Stunned by the results
Aimee knew it was time to take action. She shares, “The following Monday, I called and set up mine. They came back and told me that I had dense breast tissue and not to worry, I’d probably get a letter in the mail. I went for my follow-up, and the radiologist walked in the door while I was still lying on the table. I thought to myself ‘This can’t be good’.”
Her radiologist said, “Look, there’s something that concerns me a little bit.”
From there, Aimee had a biopsy and found out she had invasive ductal carcinoma. She says, “I was completely stunned. There is no family history for me of that. There was no lump. I didn’t have anything that would give me any indication that breast cancer was even on the horizon for me.”
“It’s not your grandmother’s mastectomy anymore.”
Next, Aimee scheduled her surgery with Dr. Paul Mace. “He just really could not have been any better. I had complete trust in him. He is so cutting edge, for lack of better words for a surgeon. Thankfully, there have been so many advancements in breast cancer in the last 10 to 20 years.”
Aimee had a nipple-sparing double mastectomy as an outpatient surgery at Memorial. The tumor was removed, and the reconstruction immediately followed. She adds, “I just have to tell everybody that I come in contact with — all of my friends now have heard me say this until I’m blue in the face: it’s not your grandmother’s mastectomy anymore. I feel so confident now in the way I look. I’m just thankful that we don’t have to go off somewhere. It can be done right here at home. This has taught me to be grateful and to live in the moment.”
A new assignment
“I feel that I’ve been given a gift — my eyes are wide open to the second half of my life, and so I won’t take anything for granted. Early on, like right after my diagnosis, I saw something that said that sometimes God gives you a mountain to show others that it can be moved. And that has kind of been my mantra through this entire ordeal,” Aimee says.
“I feel like this, this was really my assignment. I needed to be able to advocate for others, and I needed to make it to where other people maybe weren’t scared to take that first step. We’re going to make sure that women get their mammograms regardless of whether they can afford it or not. We have resources available to everybody, and we’re going to fight harder to get additional resources for patients in South Mississippi.”
“I want to rock my grandbabies one day.”
“I’m just so thankful for modern medicine, for fabulous doctors right here at home, and a good, strong family base at home. I couldn’t get through it without my family,” Aimee shares. “My husband has been amazing, and we have three small children, so that was obviously a big reason I wanted to fight this and make sure I’m here for decades. I want to rock my grandbabies one day.”
Prevention takes action. Schedule your mammogram today by calling (228) 867-4395. Find out more about Memorial’s breast cancer services by clicking the button below.