Air date: March 1, 2012
Michelle: I remember coming home and basically falling down in my room and balling my eyes out. Michelle Tubbs was 30 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Forced to learn the world of chemo, radiation and mastectomies, the young wife and mother also discovered an additional burden when she went to support groups with older women. Michelle: They all pitied me. And they said “oh 30 you are so young” and I’m like “I know, it makes me so mad.” And I was, I felt worse leaving that support group meeting than I had felt throughout my entire treatment. Michelle started the first local chapter of YSC, Young Survival Coalition, which focuses on cancer survivors under forty. Michelle: We all know each other’s names and if there is a new person, we devote that entire meeting to that new person. The group deals with issues of particular concern to younger cancer survivors. Michelle: Sexuality, ah fertility, ah dating, adoption, feeling like your bodies are failing you so much earlier in life. There might not be a YSC chapter in Detroit if not for Tubbs who still stings with the pessimism of her earlier encounters with other cancer patients. Michelle: She told me every horrible thing in the world that could possibly happen during treatment and I vowed to myself I would never do that to another woman. Tubbs believes in positive messages. She is one. Now 35, Michelle is currently cancer free and pregnant with her second child. She shares this hope with the YSC group. Michelle: They need to be up-lifted; they don’t need to be brought down. They don’t need to be afraid. They need to know it is going to be ok. They need to know that there is life after cancer, and a long life. Providing support in life’s toughest moments, Michelle Tubbs is boosting The Heart of Detroit.