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Meet Theresa

Breast Cancer Patient

"There is a need for more information, especially for African-American women about this particular breast cancer."

Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy passed away in April 2022 after a recurrent bout with cancer. She was 41. Her legacy remains an inspiration.

There were many times when Theresa, an attorney and president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, thought she would never get to be a mom, something she wanted to be more than anything in the world.

That’s why after six miscarriages, she waited until she heard her “miracle baby” cry in the delivery room before she truly believed it had happened.

Thaddeus was in her arms and nothing was going to break their bond.

Little did Theresa know how much, and how quickly, her resolve would be tested.

Seven months after Thaddeus was born, she started noticing some changes in one of her breasts. Perhaps a milk duct was infected, she thought.

But a couple months later her symptoms persisted so she decided to get it checked out. Tests confirmed that this new mom had inflammatory breast cancer.

“I have a little baby that I've fought so hard for and I just wanted to know, ‘Am I going to die?'" says Theresa, who was diagnosed at age 37. 

But “Tenacious Theresa,” a name she has proudly given herself, didn’t back down from the fight.

Together with her oncologist Dr. Ricardo Costa and surgeon Dr. Brian Czerniecki, she had a treatment plan in place, giving her the fire to move forward with the battle.

In the process, “Tenacious Theresa” has become a breast cancer advocate after learning that inflammatory breast cancer is prevalent in African-American women. Many women may not recognize the different symptoms, she says.

Theresa admits being a new mom and dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment can be a struggle but looks to her family who is a constant source of support.