GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Despite advances in treatment, experts estimate one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
As a senior producer for ABC7, Chellise Morey is skilled at prepping and planning logistics and coverage for awards shows like the Oscars. However, this was different. She created a binder of information - but this data was for herself. The binder: a place to keep the details of her fight with cancer.
"It was March after the Oscars. I went in for my biannual mammogram and ultra sound. They had been monitoring something in my right breast for a while. This time they found something that changed," said Morey.
Doctors discovered several small lumps deep in her breast tissue. So deep, in fact, that doctors say a self-examination most likely would not have found anything. Two years after Morey underwent a lumpectomy to remove a suspicious growth in her left breast, new tumors surfaced in her right breast; this time they were malignant.
"So the day after my 53rd birthday, I went in and had the biopsy done," said Morey. "Not a pleasant experience and the waiting is probably the hardest thing."
Doctors recommended a double mastectomy. It was tough for the whole family, because her husband lost his mother to cancer when she was also 53. Morey said she managed to stay strong - up until the final moments before her surgery.
"My plastic surgeon came in, that's when i just started to lose it. I was just like, this sucks. You know, there's no other way to put it. There's no eloquent way to put it," she described.
While her fight isn't over, Morey feels fortunate her cancer was found early.
"I have great health insurance. I have great resources. We live in an area with great doctors, but not everyone has that," said Morey. "That's why it's important to do that Susan G. Komen 'More than Pink' walk because this will raise money for women who don't have those same resources."
Morey also says you learn a lot going through something like cancer.
"My two friends who've been through it recently, they've been my experts, my resources, my huge support," she said.
In a twist of fate, it was actually to support those friends during their own cancer fights that Morey first attended the Susan G. Komen walk in 2019. And this year, she will be out there again, joining her colleagues as part of the ABC7 team. And she urges everyone to do their part, too.
"Don't put off those tests, whether it's a mammogram, colonoscopy, or a pap smear... get them done," said Morey.
You can make a difference! Thousands of people will take to the streets on Sunday, Oct. 29, for the L.A. Susan G. Komen "More Than Pink Walk" in Exposition Park.