DEPEW, N.Y (WIVB) – A local breast cancer survivor is taking breast cancer awareness month to a new level. She wants women who have been diagnosed to know, there is hope.
When you pull up to the Depew home of Mary Jo and Michael Caruso, you’ll see a lot of pink.
Michael Caruso said, “It’s a message to people that there’s hope. You have to have hope because that’s one of the weapons in your arsenal when you’re fighting. Hope is a very powerful thing.”
From the Halloween- inspired pumpkins to her Buffalo Bills Sunday feast, Caruso is all about the decorations.
Caruso says she’s a self-proclaimed advocate for breast cancer awareness. That’s because she too is a survivor. She said, “I’m here, I made it through. And I’m still fighting every day.”
Her family calls her the energizer bunny, always doing for others.
So from the day she got that phone call about her test results, just days before Christmas, it was a shock.
Now, every detail of her cancer journey is laid out in a book. She says, it’s a feeling so many women get after a diagnosis like this, confusion.
Caruso said, “I was like, “Oh my God, I have cancer.” This is going to be cancer, how am I going to deal with it? How am I going to tell my family this? I have to get this out of me.”
But she took the positive attitude, and with a huge support system Caruso calls “the network” behind her, they went to battle.
She opted for a double mastectomy and says she says she just wanted to be done with cancer once and for all. She said, “You think it’s your death sentence and it’s not. Now I look back and go, “that was a great Christmas present, God gave me my life back.”
Now she wants others in her shoes to know, there is hope.