MERIDIAN, Idaho — A Meridian police officer who was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer is speaking out regarding her diagnosis and offering a hopeful message to women in Idaho and beyond.
Officer Erin Bustos moved from Orange County, Calif. to Emmett with her husband. The two came in search of a simpler life with hopes of starting their own family.
"We just fell in love, which I feel is a super common thing because how can you not come here and not fall in love with it?" Bustos said.
Before leaving California and heading to the Gem State, Bustos noticed a small lump in her breast. Because her family does not have a history of breast cancer and she is relatively young and healthy, she was not concerned by the lump.
However, that small lump continued to grow.
"I was having pressure in my right breast and then when I would sit down my breast would push up underneath my arm and it would kind of hurt," Bustos explained.
Bustos continued to ignore the lump for several months until she scheduled her first doctor's appointment in Idaho. After a series of tests, she received devastating news.
"I have hormone-positive breast cancer and it's stage 2," Bustos said.
At just 29 years old, her plans for a new life in Idaho changed in an instant.
"They told us that chemo was going to kill my reproductive abilities," Bustos explained. "My world was just ripped out from underneath me. We would've never thought. We were prepared to start a family, we moved here to this beautiful state with hopes and dreams of starting a family."
Bustos' own experience has inspired her to encourage all women to regularly check themselves for breast cancer, regardless of age or health status.
"Check yourself. They say to do it once a month, and I remember hearing that and thinking, 'Oh sure that seems like a lot, I don't need to do that,'" she said. "But I did need to do that. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone."
Bustos has a long and expensive road to remission, including an aggressive treatment plan with chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and possible radiation treatment.
The Meridian Police Employee Association is raising funds for Bustos' treatment. For every $10 donated, you will receive a pink patch.
Watch more Local News:
See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist: