JORDAN VALLEY, Ore. -- They represent the women least likely to get regular mammograms, largely due to a problem of convenience and distance. But that is changing thanks to mobile mammography.
Chris Telleria and LeeAnn Conro have known each other for years. They live in a small town and work together at the local school, but they have something else in common that makes their friendship uncommon.
"Two years ago I decided I needed another mammogram," Telleria says. "It had been five years since I had my last one, but I just had this inward feeling that I better go in and get checked."
Fortunately the St. Alphonsus mobile mammography unit comes to Jordan Valley regularly.
Telleria made sure she had an appointment, "Right away they detected something wasn't quite right."
She had breast cancer.
"And this is where she, LeeAnn, steps in because LeeAnn was very supportive of me. She said 'I'll go with you through this journey. I'll be your friend. I'll be there for you as you go,' and we kinda became bosom buddies," Telleria says of Conro.
They can laugh now, but their journey was about to take another turn.
Conro says because of the detection of Telleria's breast cancer, it made her move her own mammography date. "Instead of August, I went in June so about a month later I was diagnosed with breast cancer also. Stage two B with one lymph node. It is quite a shock to be told, you have breast cancer," said Conro.
They were both in shock.
The following weeks were spent helping each other through radiation and chemotherapy for Conro. Now, two years and a clean bill of health later, they are just thankful they didn't put their breast cancer screenings off another second.
"Don't take your health for granted because you never know what you could be facing," Telleria stresses along with Conro. "Please, Chris and I beg of you, go get a mammogram. We're survivors because of it. It saved our lives."
If the cost of getting a mammogram is standing in the way of taking LeeAnn and Chris's advice then you should know there is help for that from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Idaho affiliate.