Couple survives dual breast cancer diagnoses -

Couple survives dual breast cancer diagnoses

Meet Mike Shroder and Patty Stump of Mason, Ohio.

They have many fond memories to count for their 24 years of marriage. With a blended family comprised of nine children, 22 grand children and three grand babies on the way, Mike and Patty escaped for a summer vacation to Florida in 2006.

What was supposed to be a relaxing getaway began an unimaginable journey for the couple and their family. 

Mike found a lump on his breast. In his wildest dreams, he never imagined it could be breast cancer. The thought never even entered his mind.

"I was doing a sonogram and the gal that was doing it said, ‘Excuse me,' and left the room and came back with the radiologist," Mike recalls. "That's not good."

According to the Barrett Center for Cancer Prevention, Treatment & Research, barely more than 1,300 men and 200,000 women were found to have breast cancer in 2006, the year that Mike was diagnosed.

Almost one year to the day of Mike's diagnosis, his wife Patty received horrifying news of her own: She, too, had breast cancer.

"It just absolutely floored me," Patty said. "He took it so easily and I was a wreck."

Before Patty's diagnosis, Mike underwent a mastectomy.

"The morning after the surgery, they took the dressing off and I looked down and I thought, ‘My God, what a terrible thing for a woman to see,'" said Mike.

Patty, on the other hand, had a lumpectomy followed by five weeks of radiation.

Their diagnosis has given them a new sense of belonging to a group made up of mostly women that wear a whole lot of pink.

"We did a lot with Susan G. Komen and Relay for Life," she said. "It's an amazing group of people!"

Today, Mike and Patty are feeling well, always busy with their large family and a new venture: A pizzeria.

While serving up some of the best pizza in town, the couple never forgets their roles as breast cancer survivors. They donated 20 percent of their sales to breast cancer research on the day of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, calling it "A Slice of Hope."

Mike's son went to a doctor concerned about a lump that he too had found on his chest. The doctor advised him not to worry, saying that men don't get breast cancer.

"I told him to get a new doctor," said Mike. "Men do get breast cancer."

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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