Meet Julie Perez — Top Fundraiser, Survivor, Advocate
Meet Julie Perez Cruz, a 58-year-old Mother of 4 and Grandmother of 15. Over 20 years ago, when Julie was just 36 years old, she considered herself strong and healthy — and did not think she needed health insurance. One day, she felt a lump on her left breast and did not know where or how to get a mammogram. A close family friend recommended reaching out to Susan G. Komen.
Komen helped Julie find a free mammogram, but also covered the cost of the biopsy. Luckily, it was benign.
On November 19, 2019, Julie was having a sweet little spat with her darling Husband. She locked herself in a room to blow off a little ‘warm steam’ when she decided, for no reason whatsoever, to conduct a self-breast exam. She felt a ‘Jordan Almond’ size lump in the same place as her cyst 20 years ago.
The very next day, Julie went to see her doctor who sent her immediately for a mammogram and cat scan.
“When they called me for a second look….I knew I had breast cancer”
She was diagnosed with HER2 Triple Positive Breast Cancer Stage 2B-3A. Working with her care team, the dream team¸ she decided to have a double mastectomy followed by 5 rounds of excruciating chemotherapy, 25 rounds of radiation and the removal of 7 lymph nodes.
On June 19, 2020 — Julie was declared CANCER FREE. She continued to receive infusions for several months and on January 26, 2021 — she rang the bell and celebrated the start of a new life. Her family was waiting for her in the parking lot of the infusion center to party!
Julie wants all her sister warriors to know ‘Stay Strong. Believe in Yourself. Smile through the Pain, Keep the Faith, and pray, pray, pray’.
Starting in 2021, Julie has become a Top Fundraiser for the MORE THAN PINK Walk! She is an advocate and fundraiser for Komen because Komen was there for her and because of the research that is possible — clinical trials and cutting edge treatment that ‘saved my life’.