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Give Hope: Breast cancer survivor credits early detection for saving her life

EL PASO, Texas -- Alma Calderon is one of the many breast cancer survivors living in the Borderland, but she said she wouldn't be here if not for her annual mammogram.

It was December 2013 when the mammogram detected a mass that turned out to be breast cancer. And it was an all-too-familiar diagnosis for her.

"My mom died [of cancer]," Calderon said, adding the cancer was on the same side as her mother's. "I thought, I'm going to die like my mom."

She says her initial reaction in that moment was fear followed by denial. Then anger set in.

"Why me? What happened?"

Alma began the aggressive attack and fight against the cancer. She had a surgery followed by chemotherapy and 50 rounds of radiation. She credits her husband, Fernando, for helping her through it all. He even left his job to take care of her.

By 2015 she was declared cancer free.

"I love myself more than before the diagnosis," Calderon said. "I am now the best version of myself."

Alma says she lives each day to its fullest and doesn't look too far ahead in life. She says she likes sharing her story because it's such an important one to tell.

"If I can help one woman to get the cancer on time, for me it's very good. If I had gone one month later that time [to my mammogram], I'm not here right now. I'm sure."

As a small gratitude of her important work sharing her story, ABC-7 is partnering with Albertsons and the Stand With Estela Casas Cancer Foundation to provide Alma with a $250 Albertsons gift card.

Alma also wanted to share an important message in Spanish, which you can watch in the video above.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ABC-7 is partnering with Albertsons and the Stand with Estela Casas Cancer Foundation to raise awareness on how cancer impacts our community, and assist cancer fighters in the Borderland.

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Erik Elken

Erik Elken co-anchors ABC-7’s flagship newscasts.

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