Chapin, SC (WLTX) -- Every month on the 19th, News19 introduce you to a breast cancer survivor.
This month, it is our pleasure and privilege to introduce you to Jina Moore, Ph.D., the Assistant Principal for Instruction at Chapin's Spring Hill High School.
Dr. Moore proves that although cancer can be unpredictable, what we can control is our faith and courage while wearing the perfect pair of shoes.
As she prepared for her annual mammogram two years ago, she did what most women do: A self-breast exam before her appointment.
"Unfortunately, I felt a spot that didn't seem right," said Moore. "Two years ago, I received a diagnosis of breast cancer."
She immediately contacted Lexington Women's Care, and booked an appointment.
"I knew that Misty Sawyer would take care of me and make sure I received the care that I need," she said. "So they saw me immediately the next day, and within 24 hours, Misty made sure I had a diagnostic exam set up."
Within 48 hours, Moore was having a biopsy.
"By that point, I knew I was on a journey I was not expecting to be on at 45 years old," she said.
Moore underwent surgery, but would soon find out her journey had just begun.
"I was very excited to hear that I had clear margins and things were good, except for that there were traces in my lymph nodes," she said.
Moore learned that she wouldn't have to do chemo, but she would need radiation. 34 treatments in all.
"We were getting ready to have our first graduation," said Moore. "My daughter was getting ready to graduate from high school at River Bluff. There was so much excitement going on in my life, and I basically just said, 'I don't have time for this'. But cancer doesn't care if you have time for it or not."
Moore scheduled every radiation treatment before school. She told News19 she didn't let breast cancer keep her away from the students and staff she loves.
"As an administrator, it is my job to be a role model for students," said Moore. "I have to show them what it means to have grit. So even in the toughest of times, we need to have those coping skills that help us reach success. If I don't role model that for students then I'm not doing my job."
She also wanted to show her kids, Jess and Reece, that it's ok to be scared, but this is how you deal with fear: Confidence, control, and - arguably the most important part of an outfit - a stellar pair of shoes.
"My favorite pair of shoes are the shoes I'm wearing today," said Moore, wearing patterned black and white high heel sandals. "When I got to ring the bell for finishing up radiation, I made sure to wear these because I wanted to take that picture where I was like, 'Look! I can do this! I survived'."
Every treatment she wore a different pair of shoes. The fashion choices became the topic of conversation during her treatment and with her students at school.
Moore turned to shoes as her coping mechanism. Shoes were among the things in life she could control, since cancer can often feel uncontrollable.
"Working with the doctors at Lexington Medical Center was fantastic," she said. "Dr. Barwick was an amazing surgeon and he really made me feel every time that I went in there that he had time for me and he cared about my concerns."
"I had a super oncologist, and I still have him, that's Dr. Wells. He still sees me because I'll be under his care for a while," she said. "Although that's scary, every time I see him we go through all of my concerns just to make sure there isn't anything we're missing. I want to make sure I'm here for a really long time."
What's perhaps one of the most remarkable moments in Moore's journey is her commitment to positivity, and dance. After every treatment, Dr. Moore put on her heels and danced her way out of the hospital.
In what many might consider divine intervention, Moore's first and last dances out of treatments were accompanied by the same song playing on the radio: "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.
"You have to have faith, hope, courage, and in my case, you always have to have a great pair of shoes."
Dr. Moore is also involved with Women's Night Out where she shares her personal journey with cancer. She also helps raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.