Making Strides: Collier County woman details family’s breast cancer history

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Julie Marquardt in the hospital for a double mastectomy in October 2021. Courtesy photo

One family-owned business in Collier County is close to raising $100,000 for breast cancer awareness. STOCK Luxury Homes got involved because its staff has a firsthand understanding of the battle against the disease. Six women on the company’s team shared stories and worked hard these last few weeks to raise money.

One of them is Julie Marquardt. She was diagnosed in 2021 and had a double mastectomy on Oct. 25 of that year. But breast cancer has always been part of her life; her mother was diagnosed when she was just a child.

“I feared breast cancer since age 11; my mom was diagnosed and she had a tough time, so I was very diligent about getting my mammograms. The reality is, I do not have the BRCA gene, even though my mom had breast cancer,” Marquardt said. “I really stress to women: If it’s not in your family, go anyway.

Marquardt is sharing her story to show that screening is key, even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer. She’s also proof that it doesn’t have to be a death sentence: Marquardt got married this year and will be at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Sunday to raise awareness and money for her fellow survivors.

“How long did [her mother] fight it? She passed away when I was 16, and she was very different than me; she had a lump, where I had no symptoms at all,” Marquardt said. “It was simply through microcalcifications on my mammogram, so I would have never known. I felt just fine—went to boot camp several days a week, worked, and I did not know I had anything wrong.”

WINK News is a proud sponsor of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Anchors Lindsey Sablan and Lois Thome will be at North Collier Regional Park for the event.

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