Tara Gustman

Tara was diagnosed at 34 years old with two toddlers at home. She found strength in every single person that reached out after her diagnosis. She had people showing up at her house to drive her to chemotherapy, bring her food, sit with her and show her how much she meant to so many people.

After she was diagnosed, she decided she should check out her local support group for breast cancer. It was before any treatment started, and her cancer did not feel real yet. When the meeting was over, she wanted to just run out quickly to get in her car to cry. A girl in the support group stuck her foot out and stopped her to introduce herself. It was in her brief introduction and warm gesture that taught Tara the first meaning of the pink sistership. Because of her, she stayed and was introduced to a group of women that she now calls her “Bresties.” At that moment, she understood why the woman had stopped her so abruptly from leaving the room.

The day Tara was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to create her own Facebook group and blog called LetMeGetTheseOffMyChest.com. In her mind, she had two choices, to stay quiet or be open about her journey. She felt that in sharing her experience, that if she could help just one person, then she made a difference. Since opening up, she has received so many messages from friends and followers about how they are getting early detection mammograms, have reached out to others to use her story as inspiration and helped others battling cancer as well.

“I always say that being diagnosed has been a beautiful blessing because it has truly taught me the meaning of living in the moment, every single day. Every day I am alive is truly a gift!”

Tara’s family has been her world, her rock and her inspiration to fight every day.  It started the day she was diagnosed and her husband promised to be with her every step of this fight.  Tara’s two daughters, Alivia and Savannah age 5 and 4, would always want to help her.  From the oldest cleaning surgery drains, to her youngest making Tara’s pillows comfortable, they kept on assuring her to be strong and everything was going to be alright.  Tara’s support team went beyond just her immediate family, it stretched into her community too.  Strangers became friends, friends became family, and they battled together.  As Tara puts it, “EVERYONE had EVERYTHING taken care of and helped me focus on me getting stronger.

I am so thankful to my team starting with Dr. Edna Garcia, who advised me on being proactive recommending I get a mammogram with my family history, even though I was 34!  I ended up having cancer in multiple spots.  She saved my life!

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