Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the Southwest Florida community

Author: CAMILA PEREIRA Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one local survivor is telling her story to remind women to get mammograms.

Multiple surgeries, five months of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation later have made Holly Digilarmo a cancer survivor for five years.

She never missed any of her mammogram appointments, especially after getting diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a severe type of skin cancer when she was 39.

“And then Hurricane Irma hit, I lost my home to Hurricane Irma,” said Diglarmo. “I was displaced for 14 months, and then, during that time, while I was displaced, I felt a lump and immediately went for a mammogram, and low and behold, they scheduled a biopsy, all that. It was breast cancer.”

She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

“I already had the blow of the hurricane that I had a major health scare happening. I was the only income at the time, my son was a high school senior at Estero High, so I had to work through this treatment and keep the house afloat,” said Diglarmo.

Diglarmo started hearing her family call her Wonder Woman and Holly Strong, but at this point, she is Holly Stronger.

“October is our month to shine, but mostly, it’s to bring awareness,” said Diglarmo.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

“It’s a sisterhood. You need that support of other people that have gone through it, have lost loved ones to it and are battling it, and having that support system will make you well, mentally. Being mentally well is the key to fighting this disease,” said Diglarmo.

On Oct. 21, WINK News anchors Lois Thome and Lindsey Sablan will emcee the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The walk is at North Collier Regional Park.

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