ShaMiracle Rankin details her triumph over breast cancer

Why was it important to your mother to own her boutique?
Her aunt died of breast cancer about 15 years before I was diagnosed. And it was important for my mom to open up Mercy Medical Supply and Mastectomy Boutique [in Stockbridge, Georgia], because she wanted to educate women about early detection and [resources] that are out there. In the small town that we were from in Louisiana, it [was] not a conversation that [was] frequently had at that time about breast cancer and awareness. So it was important to her to be that awareness point for people in our hometown and then people locally that she served as well.

So let’s talk about your support system and how that helped you recover.
My parents, my brother, my husband, his family, and my closest friends, all stepped in. They pitched in, took me to appointments and doctor’s visits, came over just to make me laugh, [even] just allowed me to lay on their shoulder and boo-hoo cry [and] reminded me I didn’t have to be a superwoman. I had to actually mourn the loss of my breast and it took my friends to say that it’s OK for you to not be OK with losing something that you’ve had for so very long. So my support system was just very integral for me and they continue to be here for me.

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