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Breast Cancer survivor helps build community with events and decorations

Leslie Scantling is a 4th generation Breast Cancer survivor. She helps those fighting the disease know they are not alone through events and decorations.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Resident Leslie Scantling has dealt with generations of women in her family diagnosed with breast cancer -- and this month is dedicated to promoting awareness and sharing resources for those with breast cancer.

"It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when,” said Scantling.

That was the reality she lived with. Six years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, making her the 4th generation in her family to have the disease.

"No amount of preparing can get you ready for hearing those words that you have cancer. I had two types of cancer. I had invasive ductile carcinoma,” said Scantling.

Doctors broke the news to Scantling during one of her regular annual checkups, but she says that visit was hard to take in.

"Everything else just shuts down. You kind of just stop hearing words at that time and you stop remembering what doctors say and everything stops,” said Scantling.

Scantling says all she could thing about in that moment was her family.

"You need to get through it yourself but especially when you have a family 'how are we all going to get through this. How do I keep functioning as a mother?” said Scantling.

After years of treatment, Leslie can now call herself a breast cancer survivor three years later. 

"I knew I'd make it through, I just didn't know how hard it would be to get there,” said Scantling.

To honor and celebrate Scantling, her daughter painted a tree on her fence in the back yard.

"Every year she paints a new flower for the year that I'm cancer free,” said Scantling.

To continue her family’s legacy of raising awareness, Scantling created the Annual Flock Cancer Street Stroll. The Flock Cancer Street Stroll is always the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

Flock Cancer Idaho’s Board Director Jill Shelton Wagers says, "It was just a walk to start, and we were going to stick together and word of mouth and all get together the same day the race for the cure was.”

The stroll raises money for local organizations helping with the fight against breast cancer.

"That's one of the things is most amazing about it is that we have people that are battling breast cancer here and the support she wanted to do was for the people here,” said Shelton Wagers.

Scantling always looks for other ways to keep the conversation going. This Halloween, she put up flamingos representing breast cancer Awareness.

"It's pink it's bright it's vibrant. You're not alone as a lonely flamingo. You have a Flock. You have people around you that can be there for you,” said Shelton Wagers.

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