In 2018, Nanaimo’s Meaghan Tadei was experiencing some of the best moments of her life: she turned 36 years old, had gotten married three months prior, and was enjoying time spent with her one year old daughter.

Having lost her mother to breast cancer when Meaghan was 20 years old, Meaghan was making a conscious effort to live a healthy lifestyle in hopes she could evade the disease herself: she didn’t smoke, she ate well and exercised regularly.

“After my mother’s death, I tried to do everything I could to avoid breast cancer myself,” she says.

So when Meaghan learned of her own breast cancer diagnosis, the news was nothing short of devastating.

“I felt very angry when I was diagnosed,” she says. “Life felt very unfair.”

She soon began treatment, which included an initial single mastectomy, and then a prophylactic mastectomy a few months later.

Meaghan also underwent breast reconstruction surgery, and is currently on hormone blocking medication which she will continue to take for several more years.

Meaghan says the care she received throughout her journey “has been incredible.”

“I feel very grateful to be able to receive care from BC Cancer,” she says. “I have felt fully supported and have always been given all the information I needed to make educated decisions about my surgeries and care.”

Two years after her diagnosis, Meaghan says she still has difficult days but has learned to accept her cancer and everything she faced along with it.

“Today, I feel proud and I know my mom would be proud of me too,” she says. “I sometimes struggle to look at my reconstructed breasts in the mirror, but mostly I am proud of my journey and my body and I hope sharing my story helps others.”

March 8th is International Women’s Day and we’re celebrating Meaghan and showing our support for more than 5,500 British Columbians who will be diagnosed with a breast or gynecologic cancer this year.

The BC Cancer Foundation is committed to changing the outcome for people facing a women’s cancer – learn more at: www.bccancerfoundation.com/womenscancers