Twins share a special bond, but for Shelley and Sharla that bond goes a bit deeper, after one credits the other with saving her life
As twins do, they’ve had one another’s back from the very beginning.
Taking different paths in life, Shelley, a nurse practitioner, and Sharla, a teacher, remained close. The two live within a few miles of each other and are raising their children, all girls, together.
“We have four girls between the two of us,” says Shelley.
Shelley says that when she found a lump during her monthly breast exam, she quickly requested a mastectomy.
“I had that done November 1 and about five days after my surgery my surgeon called and said, ‘Shelley you made the right decision’,” Shelley recalls. “The cancer had moved up in that left breast and the right breast had pre-cancer as well.”
Shelley says that during the whole process, Sharla was there to hold her hand.
“I’m very close to my other two sisters,” says Sharla. “But you know, being a twin, there’s nothing like a twin sister.”
During one of her follow up visits that Shelley encouraged her sister to have some tests done.
“She said, ‘Sharla, you’re up for a mammogram. Why don’t you go to Baton Rouge and have your mammogram there considering after what I just found out.’ I said, ‘We might as well.'”
Sharla says that the two of them made the visit and scheduled an appointment for November for a mammogram.
The news, Sharla had pre-cancer.
“I had three options,” says Sharla. “Of course, with Shelley’s recent history, I decided on the mastectomy. One day they would have been cancer, but no one knows but the good Lord above.”
Sharla says that with three young girls still at home it was her decision to get it all out and not deal with breast cancer later on in life.
Today, both women are cancer-free and are using their story to educate others.
“If you check your breast every single month you know what your breast feel like, you will catch it,” says Shelley. “I didn’t have to be a nurse practitioner to feel that lump.”
Both Sharla and Shelley are involved in the Melissa Doise Hope for the Miracle run/walk. On Saturday, October 27th the run/walk will mark its 8th annual event in Jennings.
All proceeds go towards assisting individuals in Jeff Davis Parish who have been diagnosed with and are battling breast cancer. Registration opens at 7:30 am the run/walk starts at 8:00 am. For more information visit the event page, here.