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Mom diagnosed with breast cancer has message for others fighting disease

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In the classroom, Eboni Barber guides her family and consumer sciences students just as they guide the needle and the thread. But, like them, she is still learning.

“I’m learning now to enjoy life. I'm learning now to travel more,” said Barber.

She is still learning, because just days after giving birth to her second son, Eboni, she got a devastating breast cancer diagnosis.

“It was tough just waiting on the results because it was through Christmas. Like, the week before Christmas we were like, 'okay wait, it couldn’t be cancer because it doesn’t run in my family,'” she said.

With a young son and a newborn at home, the fight for life was on, and she prayed to make it through.

“I always ask God just to spare me, because I just want to see my kids grow. I want to see my kids as men. The verse that sticks out to me is ‘for I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds said the Lord.’ I repeat that everyday,” said Eboni, wiping away her tears.

“The American Cancer Society reports that the risk for dying from breast cancer for African-American women, compared to Caucasian women, is more than double in Louisiana,” Dr. Sobia Ozair said.

According to Doctor Sobia Ozair, an oncologist with the Breast and GYN Cancer Pavillion, knowing your own body is critical to identifying abnormalities in breast tissue. She says an abnormality will feel like a lump, that’s firm, hard and maybe even painful at times.

“That is when you want to ask your primary care doctor to take a look a, and they can give you reassurance if it is something benign like cyst. But if it is something concerning, they’ll have you get a mammogram and ultrasound to check it out,” she explained.

For Eboni, she is putting all of her energy and focus on living.

“The little things don’t matter. I don’t spend my energy any more getting upset. I don’t get upset about anything,” Eboni said.

She also focused on spreading her message of survival and strength to all the women fighting the disease.

“You are strong. You can get through this. There is wonderful treatment, more advanced treatment. There’s hope. Stay strong. You’re a survivor,” she said.

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