Missoula breast cancer survivor helps others fight the disease - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Missoula breast cancer survivor helps others fight the disease

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MISSOULA -

After overcoming her battle against breast cancer, one Missoula woman is taking it one step further and helping others in their fight against the disease.
It's been 20 years since Michelle Knowles won her battle against breast cancer, but her fight didn't stop there.

Now, she's helping other women overcome the odds.

While Knowles is grateful to overcome breast cancer, the journey took a toll on both her and her family.

Just a year before her diagnosis, Knowles' sister Terri lost her fight against the disease at just 33.

"My girls were 14 and 10 and it's really hard to answer that question, Mommy are you going to die like Aunt Sherri did?"

Knowles and her husband Ron decided to make their two children a part of the journey, taking them to chemotherapy and radiation appointments to make the process less scary.

After working in women's health for a majority of her life, Knowles said her own personal battle is helping patients at her new practice, Ava Health.

"I think my own journey and knowing what I wished that I would have known in the beginning has helped me help my patients and other survivors and be that bulldog and voice for others."

Knowles became known as the bulldog due to her work, knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done.

But her advice isn't just for women, but for men travelling along this taxing journey.

"Helping people educate in a way that they understand it so they can be proactive about their health and make what we call more “pre-vivors” so that’s a person that has a hereditary cancer mutation but they haven't had cancer because it gives them an opportunity to make informed decisions and do things before they get cancer."

Whether it's encouraging patients to get additional screenings or preventative surgeries, this bulldog knows best.

And through her journey, she's encountered numerous allies and support groups looking to help women in the battle against breast cancer.

"It's been a very heartwarming experience for me and something I felt that I never had as a cancer survivor."

Knowles will be participating in the Komen Race for the Cure this Saturday with her Silver Lining sisters, a local organization to help support breast cancer fighters and survivors.

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