Columbia, SC (WLTX)-- Ann Boyd has survived the diagnosis of breast cancer twice.
The first time was July 17, 1999. She felt a lump in her breast and after a mammogram doctors determined that it was breast cancer. She went through a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy and believed that she was fine, especially when she passed the 5 year mark.
But a week before her birthday on May 8, 2006, she heard the two deadly words again.
Boyd made the decision to have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after her second diagnosis. Boyd does not have a family history of breast cancer but after receiving genetic testing she learned that she tested positive and the disease was hereditary.
Unfortunately, her sister was also diagnosed with the disease.
Boyd says that she has depended on her faith, and physical strength to get her through the difficult days.
She's been training with Jimmy Leach at New Body Fitness for more than a decade and considers the gym a second home.
Leach has worked with Boyd on her nutrition as well as weight training in order to help her maintain her physical strength while going through intense therapy.
At 51 years old she is defying the odds and advocating for monthly self breast exams.