STUART, Fla. — A Martin County woman has been given a diagnosis very few people might expect to hear at just 29 years old: triple negative breast cancer.
Lauren Quinton attributes it to the BRCA gene and is sharing her story with hopes of inspiring others to consider getting the BRCA gene test.
Quinton was otherwise living the life for which she worked hard. She’s a pharmacist at a new pharmacy, Seven Cells, in Stuart. She’s a mother, a wife and a Tennessee native now living where she always dreamed that she would.
“I’m so happy, like I feel like I made it. I always said I'm going to put myself through college and one day live at the beach,” Quinton said.
One day in the shower, she noticed a change in her body.
"It was very noticeable like you touch right here you could even see it,” Quinton said about a mass on her breast.
She has the BRCA gene which gives women a high chance of developing cancer. She also has a lengthy family history.
“There’s a crazy family history that we know from 4 generations. Women in my family at 31, 34 that just died from BRCA,” Quinton said.
She went to two doctors expressing her concerns about the mass. Despite her family history, she says two doctors initially told her she was fine.
“Most people being told by two doctors you’re fine, they would kind of be like okay I’m fine,” Quinton said.
She wasn’t accepting that answer, knowing something was off.
"I was like I’m going to freak out until someone listens to me,” Quinton said.
She met with a third doctor who finally gave her answers, but confirmed her fears, telling her she has triple negative breast cancer, a rare form of the disease that’s harder to treat.
“He was like I don’t know why somebody didn’t do something,” Quinton said. "But thank god he helped me out right in time I think.”
Quinton said it threw a wrench in her life plans, but she tackled her treatment plan head on.
“When you’re younger with cancer is saying like, I have to pay for this, I have a house, family to take care of, and now let's figure out how you’re going to do all of this cancer stuff and keep it together,” Quinton said.
She’s completed chemotherapy. Next week, she’ll begin radiation treatments.
“We’re going to throw 16 rounds of chemo at you, radiation, you’re going to do oral chemo, you need a mastectomy, and it’s like alright. Cool,” Quinton said.
Her mother is also in her final days of battling ovarian cancer, which Quinton said was also attributed to the BRCA gene.
On top of it all, she recently lost her sister and a strong support system in a tragic workplace shooting in Tennessee. She said her sister helped lift her up on days she wasn’t feeling her best.
Her sister’s death is what pushed her to tell her story.
“Because she is gone, I’m like ok what should I do to try to make her happy,” Quinton said.
Quinton’s sister wanted her to tell her story to encourage people to take their health seriously, and potentially get tested for the BRCA gene.
“We are in South Florida, there’s a lot of BRCA around here, maybe they will go get something done,” Quinton said.
She’s also a perfect example of the power of positivity, still going to work while undergoing treatment. “In my head I’m like it could be worse, you’re fine. And I am fine,” Quinton said.
She said her boss at Seven Cells is helping her manage the days off she needs for treatment.
Her friends have also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help with mounting medical bills. For more information, click here.
. @SavanahResnik and I had the best time meeting Lauren Quinton today. She is a #Stuart pharmacist who was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 29-years-old.— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) March 11, 2021
She is so positive, despite the challenges ahead. On @WPTV at 4, hear her story and her message about #BRCA gene testing. pic.twitter.com/2N73FgkfUP