‘I’m living proof that mammography saves lives’: Third grade teacher grateful for early breast cancer

Michelle Mas, a third grade teacher at Balls School in Jacksonville, is now cancer free after actively undergoing mammograms for early cancer detection.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. For third grade teacher Michelle Mas, Toby is her buddy.

“He was my buddy in all of this,” Mas said.

Mas talks about his journey to fight breast cancer.

Toby, her cat with “great whiskers,” as she describes him, is just one key part of her story.

Secondly, it is her constant habit to fulfill all appointments for mammograms. Thanks to Buddy Check, she knows how important it is to get breast cancer on time.

“It’s a great reminder on the 12th of every month,” Mas said.

Buddy Check encourages self-exams and mammograms. Mas says she never felt a bump. But her mammogram revealed troubling signs.

Dr. Karen Ching-Tismal, Breast Oncologist at Baptist Health – MD Anderson says, “Michelle did a great job. She saved her life.”

Ching-Tismal says the mammogram showed calcification, tiny white dots on the image.

“All these white dots are grouped together, and the shape and size are different. So this type of calcification looks suspicious for cancer,” explains Ching-Tismal.

Mas contracted breast cancer early.

“I got rid of cancer,” Mas said with a bright smile. Yes, the experience created some fear in her, but, in her words, “God had a plan for me.”

Her daughter Kelly, a nurse, was by her side at Baptist. This was a great consolation.

Now Mas is grateful to be alive, for all three of her children and her extended family at the Bolles School in Jacksonville. She loves teaching and is grateful for the support she receives from her fellow teachers. She was given a special pink bracelet.

“I wear it every day,” Mas said.

Mac is thrilled that the new Buddy Bus mobile mammogram is coming to Bolles. She encourages all schools to sign up for the Buddy Bus. This is a convenient way to get a mammogram without a trip to a medical facility.

“Don’t delay,” Mas said.

You can subscribe to Buddy Bus for your school, group, or office. Click here to visit the website.

Buddy Bus is a collaboration between First Coast News and Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center in Jacksonville.

If Buddy Check has helped you, First Coast News, Ginny Blaylock of On Your Side would love to hear from you. Simply send an email to [email protected] to be featured.

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