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This Triathlete Mom Was At Her Fittest When She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Sheilla Gagui
  • Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the Philippines. Even the healthiest individuals can get it, which is why early detection is key so you can get treatment and have a fighting chance.

    For Sheilla Gagui, a 39-year-old triathlete and mom of two, her breast cancer diagnosis came as a shock. “Last March 2020, I was taking a shower and then I felt [a] lump on my left chest area,” she shares in an interview with Summit Original Videos. “I got a little bit worried — parang this is not normal.”

    She decided to have it checked by an OB-GYN, who told her it was likely benign. But she was still advised to undergo an ultrasound and biopsy to rule out cancer.

    After two months, Sheilla noticed that the lump on her chest was getting bigger. She sought the advice of a surgeon and after several tests, she was tod, "as per pathology, you tested positive for breast cancer."

    “I got shocked. Parang my whole world stopped — everything stopped — kasi I was at my fittest. I just came back from doing a full Ironman. Tapos I’ll be hearing, ‘Wow, I have cancer pala,’” the mom shares.

    Despite feeling mixed emotions, Sheilla knew she had to move quickly. Breast cancer is the number one killer among the different types of cancer and yet it is also one of the most curable.

    “Hindi pwedeng wait lang, let it sink first… We want the tumor to be out of my chest right away. Mabilis lang na magawa na agad ‘yung treatment — siyempre the earlier stage, the better, it’s curable,” she emphasizes.


    The mom went through different treatments including mastectomy and eight cycles of chemotherapy. It was difficult but she never lost hope and faith.

    Thanks to her husband and children’s love and support, Sheilla is now in remission. And she’s found a higher purpose: To inspire other people and remind women how important it is to have checkups regularly.

    “I want them to be aware, especially females… I want them to be aware on how to have their breasts checked, to do their annual checkups. I want to serve as a reminder for everyone to do it yearly,” she shares.

    She also wants to show other women that cancer is not a death sentence. In fact, in between doing cycles of chemotherapy, Sheilla still continued with her workouts.

    “Hindi porke nagka-cancer ka, you can’t do anything anymore,” she says.

    Watch her inspiring video below:

    How do you tell your kids you have cancer and the possibility of losing you? Click here to read how one mom did it.

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