Local breast cancer survivor acts as cancer crusader in community

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The battle against breast cancer is a fight Juanita Sanford knows all too well.

"I'm only three years out and I was diagnosed by fluke," said Sanford.

Sanford is doing her part to make sure others in her rural community are prepared, visiting seven churches this month alone in the Zachary, Baywood and Clinton areas.

"Well she's been through it and she doesn't want anyone else to go through what she has gone through," said Claudia Fisher.

The churches and venues change week to week for Juanita but her message remains the same, regular tests are the key to early diagnosis and recovery.

"With me it's every six months to get one done," added Sanford.  "I do diagnostics and regular mammograms just be on top of everything and that's my advice to everyone if you're not on top of it, it will get on top of you."

"I think about so many lives that can be saved if they go and get checked," said Shirnell Jackson. "So many people think i can't get it but if you go and get yourself checked out you can definitely save some lives."

That mindset is exactly what Juanita is hoping her neighbors will take home with them, knowing that cancer is a disease that can affect anyone and anywhere.

"I can put a face on breast cancer and I think that's one of the most important things. I know she had breast cancer and this is what she did and I can relate to her," said Sanford.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.