Rarely do you find a friend that will sacrifice any and everything for you, but nothing can be more important when you are dealing with a serious illness like breast cancer.
Beverly Miles O’Neal and Tammy Stone, the self-proclaimed modern day Laverne and Shirley, have been best friends for more than 20 years.
They call themselves the ride or die team — and nothing tested that title more than in November 2018 when Miles O’Neal was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It kind of shook me a little bit you know, because I’m like, okay, you’ve been going through this for years and years and years and everything was good. Now here comes this little hiccup,” she explained.
It wasn’t the first hiccup these friends shared. In 2004, Stone was dealing with her own battle, and her best friend was by her side.
“Beverly flew all the way to visit me in Massachusetts while I was in the hospital,” Stone said. “I think from that we drew an even stronger bond.”
It’s that support Miles O’Neal needed when she received an unexpected call back about her routine mammogram.
“It kind of shook me a little bit you know,” she said, adding, “I did the biopsy, and then a week later the radiologist called and she said ‘yes we see it.’”
At the time, it was at stage zero, located in a milk duct.
“When you’re looking at it on the screen it looked so much bigger, but she told me it was a ¼ of a centimeter, and it was hiding,” Miles O’Neal explained.
She had a good idea of what to expect in surgery because her mother, Gloria Miles, was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago. Her cousin Jackie Miles Brown also battled an aggressive form of the disease.
In Miles O’Neal’s case, cancer invaded the surrounding tissue in a matter of weeks. Her surgeon said the initial surgery didn’t get it all and they would need to do a total mastectomy.
“Never once did my faith leave me, because if God brought me to it he’s gonna take me through it,” she said.
Miles O’Neal’s second surgery was three weeks ago. Her doctor sent her home the day after surgery because she was healing well.
The survivor tells News 3 her journey has taught her to never give up — and friendship has been a huge part of it.
“I hope to be able to help the next girl or the next female whose gonna go through this,” she said. “ I want to be able to educate them just like I was educated.”
Having someone to keep you accountable is what Buddy Check 3 is all about. To find out more about the program, visit here.