Sarah Kelly, Diagnosed at 36
"In March of 2015, I was 36 years old and 32 weeks pregnant with my second child," Sarah Kelly told POPSUGAR. "At this point in my pregnancy, I was seeing my ob-gyn every two weeks." Still, it was Sarah's arm brushing up against her breast one day — and the twinge of pain that followed — that led her to find a lump on the side of her left breast. "I associated it with changes in my breasts due to my pregnancy, but something inside of me thought it might be more than that," she said. Sarah called her sister, an oncology nurse who urged her to mention it to her ob-gyn. Just days later, after feeling another lump in her armpit, Sarah was diagnosed with stage 3 triple-negative breast cancer. "I honestly could not believe this was happening," she said. "I had no family history of breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, so this diagnosis really hit me over the head."
Through her diagnosis and treatment, Sarah learned that cancer doesn't discriminate and nothing is guaranteed. "For my own health, I didn't want to continue working in corporate tech, and cancer gave me the push I needed to start my own company," said Sarah, now 40. She and her sister launched an organic cosmetic company, SaltyGirl Beauty, which was inspired by her own treatment process. "After losing my hair during cancer treatment, I felt like I'd lost a part of what made me feel beautiful," she said. "I ended up turning to my favorite lipstick and scarf to help me reclaim my confidence during that tough time." Sarah stressed that a diagnosis of breast cancer doesn't define a person. "Cancer is hard, it is scary, and it rocks your world," she explained. "But I hope people take from my experience that it can also be a second chance or that push to go after your dreams."