Malaya Southern was diagnosed with breast cancer days before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and months before her wedding. With the development of her treatment plan delayed and complicated by the aftermath of the storm, she decided to visit the Cancer Institute of New Jersey for her treatment.
Diagnosed as Stage IV triple negative, she began chemotherapy on December 20, 2012. Given her situation, she and her fiancé, Sean, were married in front of friends and family on Dec. 29 so that he could be with her as she went through treatment. The two have scheduled a larger wedding for June 20.
After treatment initially showed signs of progress, new growth developed in May of 2013. Malaya is currently between clinical trials developed through the Precision Medicine initiative at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
A member of a local roller derby team but unable to compete, Malaya shares her passion for the sport as a bench coach and by serving on the league’s board while also assisting with planning and fundraising.
She has participated in numerous breast cancer fundraising walks and continues to share her story to help others.
She works as a sales associate for a financial services company, and plans to continue working throughout her treatment.