SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Breast cancer can sneak up on you even when genetic testing lowers your risk of getting the disease.
A Savannah woman, under the age of 40, started her journey at a time that should have been one of the happiest of her life.
But, this is just a chapter, it’s not the whole story – That’s the quote Lateia Parker lives by.
The 35-year-old wife was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2023 after discovering a lump in her right breast while pregnant with her daughter Jynesis.
“Before I had her random just me and my husband watching TV, you know, and I was like, you know, I’m just doing my checks. I was like, I think I feel a lump, and he was like it might be nothing. So I went to my doctor, and she said it might be a clogged milk duct,” Lateia told News 3.
Throughout her pregnancy, she monitored the lump, but after giving birth it didn’t go away.
Lateia and her husband put their trust in Dr. Yana Puckett at the Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion after she delivered the ultrasound results.
“I just broke down, and instantly, I thought about my baby. I was like, I don’t have time for cancer,” Lateia said. “I don’t have time to sit down. I don’t have time.”
“She has a very strong support system. Her family was there right away…immediately when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. And of course, I was there with her, but it was definitely hard on her,” Dr. Puckett explained.
Her battle continues with 6 months of chemotherapy, which means no breastfeeding.
“Yes, treatment is after treatment. It’s just like, I’m so tired… my body, but it’s like when I look up at her it’s different. It’s like, I find energy.”
Showered with love from family and friends, she found hope in support from her Georgia Ports Authority coworkers too. They celebrate her every Wednesday.
As she fights cancer while learning to be a new mother, Lateia is reminded of her sweet baby shining light through her journey and giving her the strength to stay alive.
“I just look forward to the future. I look forward to just living life. My little girl growing up many more anniversaries, many more birthdays,” she said while holding her baby girl.
After chemotherapy, she will have surgery and then radiation treatments.
Lateia is feeling good and doing good.
So much so, that she will be participating in our Healing Heroes Tribute To Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fashion Show on Saturday.