Chynell Berry, an African American mother and professional corporate trainer, decided to celebrate her 45th birthday by having her first mammogram. While this was a great, proactive move toward taking charge of her health, it was also a move towards silencing her gynecologist.
“I wanted to avoid my gynecologist fussing at me because I was not getting mammograms done annually,” Chynell confessed.
An article published in the Journal of Breast Imaging indicated that breast cancer occurs at a younger age in Black women. This paper also revealed that though the incidence rate of breast cancer in Black women is slightly lower than in white women, the mortality rate is much higher. Therefore, it’s recommended that black women begin screening for breast cancer at age 40.
Chynell’s celebration of life was about to take on a whole new meaning.
“I was knocked off my feet when diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “But I am living proof that early detection is key and self-awareness is vital.”
It was Chynell’s self-awareness that led her to undergo a lumpectomy; however, she refused radiation.
“In place of it, I changed my lifestyle,” Chynell continued. She was already exercising regularly and eating well, but she knew she had to take her health journey to the next level. “I became more adamant about reading labels and cut out the majority of the products I was using. I began making my own body and face oils and creams.”
Her extremely detailed approach to what she introduced to her body was directly related to how she could equip her body, mind, and spirit to contribute towards her healing. As a lifelong learner who is dedicated to training others to be her best, Chynell took this opportunity to revolutionize her lifestyle so she could be here for her daughter, mom, and other family members. The key to her success was not solely in her lifestyle change, but her consistency in those changes over a long period of time.
In 2021, Chynell reached her “Five Years Cancer Free” mark – which is a big deal for her as well as her doctors, healthcare team, and the people that love her. Thanks to early detection, medical intervention, and lifestyle discipline, Chynell’s survivor status has placed herself in a position to love and care for her family for a long time.