ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) --Yolanda "Yolie" Lopez, 40, is in the fight of her life.
Yolie detected a cancerous tumor early on and followed her treatment plan, but still the disease spread.
In 2012, the mother of three was studying to be an ultrasound tech. As part of her practice, she scanned her breasts.
"I looked at those pictures and I said, 'Gosh, does that look good or does that not look good?'" she said.
It wasn't good. A biopsy revealed rare and invasive medullary breast carcinoma.
Still, Yolie was thrilled she was able to detect the tumor it in its early stages.
Two years after undergoing successful breast cancer treatment, Yolie found a second lump. This one was not in her breast, but under her collar bone.
Yolie said the cancer had morphed into triple negative metastatic breast cancer. Doctors told her she was in stage three.
There is no specific treatment for triple negative breast cancer. The aggressive disease usually strikes young women.
UCLA Health breast cancer surgeon Dr. Deanna Attai said once it spreads, it's deadly.
"Unfortunately, any patient with breast cancer could potentially develop metastatic disease," she said.
Attai adds each year 40,000 U.S. women die due to metastatic breast cancer. But only a small percentage of research money goes to this cause. It's what some call a "pink wall."
"All of the pink, all of the awareness, all of the ribbons and the races and the walks - none of them are truly addressing the problem," Attai said.
Yolie tells everyone who hears her story, "If you're going to give money, make sure that you know where that money is going. Make sure that it's going to a place that's really serving breast cancer patients. Patients that need it."
She has to do chemo for the rest of her life. Despite her prognosis, she and her family refuse to give up. She fights for herself and others like her.
"I'm not ready to just close my eyes and say goodbye at this age," she said. "So we need more research. We need more money."
To donate to help Yolie, you can head to her GoFundMe page here at Keep Fighting Yolie.