A queen fights back

By Monica Madeja | mmadeja@pahomepage.com

Published 02/28 2014 12:35PM

Updated 02/28 2014 12:54PM

Forty Fort, Luzerne County - The fight against breast cancer hit very close to home for a young woman in Luzerne County. Bryn Harvey is Miss Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2014 and this year she is using her crown to push on in the fight against breast cancer, and it's personal.

"Breast cancer killed my grandmother. It took her life and it's taking the lives of so many other women," said Harvey.

Six women, including her two beloved grandmothers battled the disease. Her grandmother, Lois died in 2006. Bryn even had her own scare with the disease. "I was 20 years old and just out of the blue found this lump. So I went ot the doctor right away .. it was definitely scary. [I thought] am I going to be a 20 years old battling cancer."

Byrn had surgery to remove the benign tumor, but that moment changed her life. When she began competing in the Miss America organization several years ago, choosing her platform was simple - Breast Cancer Awareness. She already volunteered at Candy's Place, a center for people coping with cancer. And winning the title of Miss Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in October gave her more ammo in the fight.

"The crown allows me to go places and to be in front of people that you might not have been able to without it."

Like Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. She was with the governor, last fall as he signed a new law into effect requiring mammography providers to let women know if they have dense breast tissue.

"Dense breast tissue shows up white on a mammogram and breast cancer also shows up white on a mammogram. So, sometimes it can mask breast cancer and women end up being in stage three when they finally realize they have cancer and end up having less of a fighting chance," she explained.

Through her volunteer work, Bryn says meeting people in the fight of their lives is powerful. "If you think about all the women you know in your life it puts it into perspective to realize one in eight of them will have breast cancer."

Bryn and Candy's Place are hosting an upcoming event to help people who lose their eye lashes to chemotherapy treatments. For more information call Candy's Place at 570-714-8800.

And of course this is your reminder to call your buddy....to remind him or her to do a breast self exam, it's a call that could save a life.

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