FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For one board member for the Vera Bradley Foundation, joining in the fight against breast cancer became a personal battle.

Elizabeth Miller has served on the board with the Vera Bradley Foundation for four years. She serves alongside her mother-in-law Pat Miller, who is one of the co-founders of Vera Bradley. Elizabeth, a mother, daughter, friend, and nurse made a point to be on time for her mammogram appointments since she was 35 because she knew how important that was in preventing breast cancer.

In April 2019, her mammogram came back clear. Throughout the year she was receiving letters to her home informing her that she had dense breast tissue. She did a self exam in October of the same year and found a lump. The doctors discovered stage one breast cancer. “It’s not something I ever expected to happen to me, I don’t think anyone ever does,” she shares.

Elizabeth decided to have a double mastectomy in November 2019.

“I have had a lot of surgical complications, breast cancer really does turn your life upside down despite even when it’s found early,” Elizabeth explains. In 2020, she had five surgeries. “It was extremely difficult, especially adding COVID on top of it and having surgeries and being dropped off at the door and picked up afterwards. It definitely added an element to it and so I’m grateful where I am now and I’m cancer free now and it’ll be two years in October.”

Miller is thankful for the organization that continues to raise funds toward the research to find a cure. “Everyone out there has a personal relationship with breast cancer. It’s everywhere, everyone knows someone with breast cancer and it’s about research and I have friends who are benefitting first hand and I truly believe we will all benefit from what the foundation is doing in helping IU with the funds for research because it’s all about the research. Some day we need to find a cure for breast cancer,” she adds.

Elizabeth is now a strong advocate to ensure that women are starting to get mammograms early and is thankful for the Vera Bradley Foundation for bringing awareness and raising funds to find a cure to breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Vera Bradley Foundation is turning the town pink. People can make a donation to get pink ribbons to display at their home or business.

CLICK HERE to get ribbons and learn more about Turn the Town Pink.