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Breast cancer survivor finds beauty in the battle

Posted: 5:24 PM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-18 04:03:21Z

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we are gearing up for the Making Strides walk on Oct. 21.

One woman who's always raising money for the American Cancer Society is Nadia Larsen. She's a mother, a wife and a warrior who's not only fought breast cancer but is now helping others going through similar battles.

If you know Larsen, you know she's full of energy. Not even breast cancer could take her down.

"I started visualizing; I started saying it out loud. I'm going to beat this; I'm going to fight it, I'm going to beat it. This is not the end of me," said Larsen.

In December of 2014, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, HER2-positive. She got a mastectomy, followed by chemo and radiation. A year of treatments that she describes as a year from hell.

"I had a very aggressive treatment. During chemo was bad. Surgeries were bad. They chop off your breast, remove a muscle from your back, they mess up some nerve damage, lymph nodes are removed. You almost feel like a piece of a butcher at a meet. You feel like it," said Larsen  

Larsen received targeted therapy thanks to researchers at the American Cancer Society.

"That research helped find a cure for me. A specific targeted treatment which a year before, if I would have been diagnosed they did not have that target treatment," said Larsen.

Lucky to be alive and a breast cancer survivor, Larsen is now helping others going through similar struggles. She's giving back with photography, a lifelong passion.

"We understand each other. We speak the same language because we went through the same hell. It feels really good to make them feel good, look good. Because when you go through that, you look like hell and feel like hell. That's for sure," said Larsen.

The Nadia Strong Foundation offers free photo shoots with the goal of empowering cancer patients.
"It changes you, you're a new person, it's my new normal," said Larsen.