BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - She's in the fight of her life, but in the prime of her life.
Gabriela Vasquez, 33, sharing her story during breast cancer awareness month in hopes reaching others.
“I kept on hearing the same thing, 'you are too young. You are overthinking it.' There is a family history on my mom's side, but even with that they kept saying, 'you are just overthinking it. It's not breast cancer,'” said Vasquez.
On February of 2016, Vasquez was only 30 years old when she felt a lump on one of her breasts but was shut down multiple times for nearly a year. However, Vasquez never stopped searching for an answer.
“By the time they actually confirmed it, it was already stage 3 grade 3.”
With the support of her family and Links for Life, Vasquez faced one of the biggest challenges of her life undergoing harsh chemotherapy.
Her last round was on September and is now a survivor.
She says she will stay with Links for Life for as long as she can, paying it forward and reminding women to always follow their gut, regardless of their age.
“My purpose is to be an advocate for young women. I would like like to stress the importance of getting to know your body.”
Jennifer Henry has been the director of Links for Life for 13 years and says the amount of support Kern County has for this group of women is unbelievable and Vasquez has become a new voice within the community.
“She is a firecracker. Having a young survivor who is such the advocate to go out and say be a self advocate. If your gut feeling tells you go get a second opinion, it's OK.”
Links for Life started 26 years ago and has helped thousands of women in Kern County through donations from the community. If anyone wants to help the organization, they can visit their Facebook page for more information.