Woman's Call To Action Is For Anyone Who Thinks Breast Cancer Can't Happen To Them

"Then a call to action to pay it forward by getting family and friends to do the same."

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the month, we will be highlighting the stories of those affected, as well as the people who come to their aid and help bring awareness to the issue.

This past July, CJ Hodge, 41, was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer. "After a series of tests, I learned that the cancer was Stage 2 with lymph node involvement. The tumor tested positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, and is also HER2 positive, which means that it is an aggressive cancer," Hodge told A Plus. 

The news came as a shock to her as she thought she had been doing all the right things when it came to taking care of her health. She regularly exercised, made healthy food choices, and started receiving yearly mammograms at 40. Like so many others, she didn't think it would happen to her. 



To treat the cancer, Hodge will undergo a total of six rounds of chemotherapy, 19 rounds of medication to target the HER2, a lumpectomy, radiation, and hormone therapy.  "I am nearing my last round of chemotherapy, which is what's believed to be the worst part of treatment. I have good days and bad days. I try my best to make the most out of the good days. There have been so many advancements with treatment and ways to better manage side effects. So I am thankful for that." 

Recently, Hodge decided to do something to help women who think breast cancer will never happen to them. CJ organized a photo shoot for breast cancer awareness on the beach. She and other women held up signs that explain breast cancer statistics and symptoms. She then used these photos to create a call to action on social media encouraging people to do self-examinations and for women 40 years old and up to go get a mammogram. 

Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 

"The campaign is more than just creating awareness. There are a lot of organizations that do an excellent job at that, and a lot of attention is given to breast cancer during the month of October. The campaign that I launched is a call to action," Hodge explained. "It starts with the individual by encouraging monthly self examines and yearly mammograms for women 40 and over. Then a call to action to pay it forward by getting family and friends to do the same. Then finally, to share the educational posts via social media, which gives us the ability to touch more people." 

"I hope that women will become more proactive when it comes to breast health, and share the call to action with their family and friends, so that more lives can be saved through early detection."

Breast cancer stories, videos, and articles have been all over our news feeds during October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it's so important we continue to the conversation. Hodge hopes sharing her story and her call to action will help others to do so. 

"Let's not relegate breast cancer awareness to one month out of the year. Let's keep this life-saving topic going all year!" Hodge said. 

You can check out more photos from her awareness campaign below.

Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 


Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 
Lindsey Morgan Photography. Courtesy of CJ Hodge. 

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