Val Skinner Foundation

Laurie Brower

Laurie BrowerLPGA Professional

Laurie Brower may not have won a tournament on the LPGA Tour just yet, but she has already won more in life than most people ever will. Brower, 38, has survived being run over by a car at age two; a plane crash in the ocean at age nine where she had to swim to shore to survive; a wrist injury that threatened her career; spent 2 1/2 years caring for her dying mother; and if that weren't enough, she has now survived breast cancer.

In April of 2000, Brower was reminded she should probably get a mammogram, especially given her family history with cancer. But not really wanting to be bothered with it at the time, she decided to put off getting the test. However, a few weeks later she noticed a lump in her breast.

As it turned out, the lump she had discovered was determined to be non-cancerous, but test results revealed another more troubling spot. A biopsy disclosed the second spot was indeed cancerous. But thanks to that first lump, which Brower regards as the most important message that she has ever received, the doctors were able to catch the tumor in an infantile stage and remove it.

"You're not too young to get tested, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer," encourages Brower.

Recognizing that insurance is often an obstacle for women to get the testing they need, she further recommends to schedule a yearly examination with your doctor, but schedule your mammogram six months later so that you will receive two indepth breast exams a year rather than just one.

"And above all, don't be afraid," says Brower, the ultimate survivor.

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