*A 34-year-old Maryland mother is urging women to have regular breast cancer screenings after she was given five weeks to live following her cancer diagnosis.
Kourtni Smith is speaking out after she was diagnosed with stage 4 invasive lobular carcinoma in April, Daily Mail reports. The married mom of five said her fear of doctors kept her from immediately consulting a medical professional amid initial health concerns.
Her most recent visit with doctors revealed that the breast cancer had spread to her brain.
Smith hopes her story serves as a teachable moment for others who may be afraid of going to the doctor, WUSA9 reports.
“I feel like now I can save someone’s life,’ she told the station from hospice.
“’Here I am, 34, and I’m dying because I was afraid to go to the doctor” when she first noticed a lump on her breast.
In 2021, Smith was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, which can be cured if detected early. According to Daily Mail, her suspicions were first sparked after she noticed the dimple on her breast. Despite this, she resisted getting it checked out.
Her fears were further heightened when she couldn’t produce milk for her newborn. That’s when she decided to visit the doctor and learned cancer had developed in the milk-producing gland of the breast. It progressed to Stage 4 by April.
After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, her body ultimately could no longer handle the treatment. Smith is now in hospice.
She started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs and other expenses for her husband and five children, ages 16, 14, 12, 9 and 2.
According to Daily Mail, a message on the campaign page states: “My cancer metastasized to my bones and my brain, which causes limited activity with my children.”
“As I near the end of the road, my goal is to provide my husband with financial assistance for my funeral expenses as he will be a single father. I kindly invite you to show your love and support.”
Smith intends to leave behind a children’s book she created as a memento for her kids.
READ MORE: Black Women Urged to Get Screened Early for Breast Cancer
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