Patient Story

Sonia Ray holds nothing back about her “bold and breastless” days when she tells her story to a room full of strangers

In 2011, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage three breast cancer and endured six different surgeries over the course of the next two years. Today she speaks to women at high school and church events about her journey, sharing how her faith in God, her support system and active involvement in treatment decisions alongside her doctors saved her life.

Sonia often shows pictures of herself after the double mastectomy and, though it frightens some, she says it helps engage many women in conversations about the realities of fighting cancer and how important early and regular screenings are as a prevention tool.

Through the hard days, Sonia strived to hold onto the happy moments, finding reasons to laugh and smile with her husband and family and show strength throughout her cancer battle. For example, before she lost her hair to chemo, Sonia asked her kids to help her shave her head, tackling her fear and this reality together.

Keeping her faith top of mind throughout her journey, she believes her battle with cancer has redefined her life. This journey has helped her embrace a new life’s purpose: to answer the call of other women in need of support and resources. In 2011, Sonia and four other women from south Atlanta launched a non-profit, Harbor of Hope Inc., an organization that provides women battling cancer with financial, emotional and spiritual support.

Harbor of Hope Inc., along with Sonia’s involvement in Northside Hospital’s Network of Hope Program, demonstrates her unwavering commitment to giving back to her community and those that will walk in her footsteps. Today, Sonia is in remission as she approaches her eighth year cancer-free.

*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50 percent five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.

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