BRANDON , Fla. – October symbolizes Breast Cancer Awareness month. Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 264,000 cases among women. Shanique Gravely, Director of Operations for Ideal Dental throughout Florida, was one of those numbers.
On October 1, 2021, Shanique was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer which tends to be an aggressive form. Just days before she found out, she saw double rainbows repeatedly and knew that something was coming her way.
However, breast cancer was nowhere near the top of her list. Shanique mentioned what breast cancer meant to her, “For me, it was a trial and tribulation that I went through but also secured and tested my faith. Because of that, my faith grew stronger.” Shanique’s trial became her miracle in less than a year.
Her enlarged tumor made its course to require a double mastectomy. After Chemo in May, the miracle began its positive course. Shanique was able to have a lumpectomy which only removes the tumor itself rather than losing both breasts.
Surgeons were surprised after her surgery to see nothing left and declared her journey to end — cancer free! “Keeping a positive mindset and knowing that things are going to be okay” is how Shanique felt throughout her journey.
Faith, family, friends, and a great team of Baycare doctors and nurses were the support system that got her through this journey. Not to mention, she continued to work and did not use any paid time off.
Danielle Mendez has worked with Shanique for about a year and has seen her through the obstacles and impacts of the medications. “I’ve seen her work through the hard days but she truly inspires me to be here every day and I couldn’t imagine a better leader.”
Now in 2022, Shanique continues to serve God and others with a smile on her face every day no matter the circumstances. Aisha Carter, a colleague at Ideal Dental, was feeling sluggish every morning coming to work. “To see her come in smiling even though I knew what she was going through motivated me to not have anything to complain about. I look at her as a mentor.”
Throughout Shanique’s journey, her advice to all women is “Stay the course and keep the faith. Know that God is capable of miracles.” If you or someone you know has breast cancer, remember that it’s not just a month. Fighting breast cancer takes everyone. Every ribbon makes a difference. Awareness is power.