Leah's Story

“Don’t let your disease define you”

leah smAt just 37 years old, Leah Billow was stunned when she found out she would have to battle cancer – yet again. Eight years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer Leah’s gynecologist found a lump on her breast that came back positive for breast cancer. Leah was especially surprised because she had no family history and was too young to start the annual mammograms as the guidelines suggest.

Leah had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy, experiencing bad side effects during the last three weeks. Now she is taking tamoxifen on the five year plan.

“My husband attended all the doctor appointments and did Relay for Life with me.” She said.  

“Everyone at Henry Ford was great to me,” she added. “I had a great experience during all my visits."

Since being diagnosed, Leah is trying to improve her health and has gotten a tattoo of the radiation symbol with a heart in the center to remind her of what she has overcome. She enjoys going out with her husband and friends, who served as her support team during her battle.

“I feel like I’m a better person now that I have had cancer. You realize things you took for granted and you try not to anymore. I take more chances, live my life more fully. Your health can change in just a day.”

Leah’s tip to others:

Cancer changes the people around you too.

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