It’s an oft cited statistic that one in eight American women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. A CNN anchor recently applied that statistic in an emotional announcement about her health.
Sara Sidner, co-anchor of CNN News Central and senior national correspondent who typically tells the stories of others, has shared her own story: that she’s been diagnosed with stage III breast cancer.
In the on-air announcement, she said, “Take a second to recall the names of eight women who you love and know in your life. Just eight. Count them on your fingers. Statistically, one of them will get or have breast cancer. I am that one in eight in my friend group. I have never been sick a day of my life. I don’t smoke. I rarely drink. Breast cancer does not run in my family. Yet here I am with stage III breast cancer. It is hard to say out loud.”
Sidner – who has won a regional Emmy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and several Telly Awards – says she’s in her second month of chemo and will later undergo radiation and have a double mastectomy. She stressed, though, that this diagnosis is no longer a death sentence for most women.
However, she highlighted one statistic that she said was shocking to her: Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts. Other studies have highlighted similar disparities, including that Black women face an earlier mortality risk and are more likely to get the difficult-to-treat and more aggressive triple negative breast cancer.
Sidner followed this up with a message she said was for women of all races: “Please, for the love of God, get your mammograms. Every single year. Do your self-exams. Try to catch it before I did.”
While the diagnosis has been emotional for her, she said there was a benefit that happened, something she said she’d never have predicted.
She explained, “I have thanked cancer for choosing me. I am learning that no matter what hell we go through in life, that I am still madly in love with this life, and just being alive feels really different for me now. I’m happier because I don’t stress about foolish little things that used to annoy me. And now every single day that I breathe another breath, I can celebrate that I am still here with you, I am here with with my co-anchors, my colleagues, and my family.”
She said things like this are enough.
To see her whole announcement, watch below.