Family time is a priority at the Bea household. Jenna Sawdon-Bea makes sure of it. It's a philosophy that isn't really new for the Bea clan, but it certainly was re-enforced in October of 2012 when Jenna was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It was her family, in fact, her daughters who played a big role. Jenna says, " Mom makes them go them go every year to the doctor for their checkup at their birthdays.. And my oldest was eight at the time .. So she was saying mom, it's your turn.. It's your turn."
At 39, Jenna was too young for yearly mammograms. That visit to her doctor likely saved her life. According to Jenna, "it was on the underside. So I mean I did checks, probably not as regularly as I should. But I was more conscientious about doing them up high. So if I would tell anybody anything it's check the whole breast. "
Now, a year and a half later, much has happened. A head-shaving party before chemo, surgery, treatment and the struggle to rest for this busy mother of three. And the whole family was there. Jenna says, "You know you always worry about money and you worry about your career and you worry about providing for family. Now it's just being here for your family. It's spending time with what's important. And that's what's under this roof right here."
A positive attitude isn't much of a stretch for Jenna. She's back stronger than ever, running five half-marathons since her diagnosis-- And forming a team, The Bea Hive, for the Komen Race for the Cure. She offers this advice to all of us: "Listen to yourself. Listen to your kids. Go to your yearly physicals, yearly checkups. Do your Buddycheck. I have two or three friends, I say, "Hey remember me? You need to do those checks!"