Each year at this time, I feature stories of local people who have battled breast cancer. It's a way to put a name and face to this disease. Now we are revisiting one woman who is getting ready to Race for the Cure.
What a difference a year makes for breast cancer survivor Shari Garcia. We met Shari this time last year: bald, beautiful and battling breast cancer. Our first story was during her last day of chemotherapy where she rang the bell to celebrate.
We recently caught up with her when she visited her hairstylist - someone who really helped her during this journey.
"I've been coming to her for years, and I've always had long straight hair and she knows how much I love my long hair," Shari said. "She was like, 'it's going to be fine.' Let's cut it; let's play with it, and that helped out too because she made it fun."
Shari underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemo and the loss of her hair.
"And so I went out and tried all these wigs on and bought a wig. Wore it home the first day, just trying to get used to it, and that was the last time I put it on," said Shari Garcia, breast cancer survivor.
Shari says so many people helped her - supporting her - especially her husband.
"Like my husband said, he said, 'you know, you can be bald, you can be whatever and I'm going to love you no matter what.' It just kind of boosts you," she said.
Shari goes in every few months to be checked. and she knows this will be part of her life forever. She says though, breast cancer has changed her - for the better.
"I don't take anything for granted. I mean every day, I cherish every day. And the people in my life I don't take them for granted either," Shari said.
The Komen Race For the Cure is Saturday, September 24, and you still have time to get registered.