Local breast cancer survivor gets ‘Today’ show surprise

Buddy Check 3

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For one local breast cancer survivor, hearing one of her favorite TV hosts saying her name on the air was the surprise of a lifetime.

“I love the ‘Today’ show. I’m glued to the set for three hours,” said Elizabeth Berksteiner.

She was sitting in her living room on June 23 with her twin daughters, when she received a virtual gift.

“I am looking for in this beautiful board the Berksteiner family in Savannah, Georgia,” said Hoda Kotb. “Where is Ambria and Amber twins? Please raise your hands!”

The twins got to wish their mom a happy birthday for the nation to hear.

“We were just glad that they even took the time to read the paragraph that I sent in and thought that my mom’s story was just phenomenal,” Ambria said.

Her mother was totally surprised and grateful.

“Grateful that I was on a platform,” Elizabeth said, “a world platform I would say, and after the journey that I’ve taken.”

What they also acknowledged was that Elizabeth is a stage 3 breast cancer survivor. For the teacher and interior decorator, life changed in December 2019. 

“It wasn’t by way of mammogram,” she said, adding, “I just thought it was an ordinary knot lump that was there.”

“If I had listened to the fear and what the diagnosis said I would have no breasts,” Elizabeth continued.  

Elizabeth feels she survived by not allowing herself to be consumed by the word cancer.

“I know you have to take your faith up to a whole another level,” she said. “So I was willing to go through the process of doing that.”

In turn, Amber and Ambria got more time with the mother they think the world of.

“One thing I’ll say that makes her amazing to me — she has an amazing amount of faith,” Amber said.

The breast cancer survivor credits God with making her a household name.

“Being on the ‘Today’ show was just one part of the resume that he had to rewrite for my life,” Elizabeth said.

She says her passion is pushing others. Now, Elizabeth will encourage women to do their breast self-exams and have annual mammograms.

Buddy Check 3 makes that easy. Learn more about the program at wsav.com/buddycheck3.

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