For over 35 years I have interviewed several thousand guests for my I Love Life show. These are folks that have overcome tremendous adversities and consider life a blessing! One of them is Sharon Sergeant of Sioux Falls. Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer twice!

“The first time was in 2009. I was diagnosed just after my 40th birthday with stage two breast cancer. I underwent four surgeries and four chemo treatments. I thought we were in the clear and thought I could go back and live a cancer free life. And then last year I went in for a regular checkup and told I was stage four.”

At first Sharon was in a state of shock.

“I was devastated for the first couple of days. I was in tears and spent lots of time in my bed crying. I have three small children and realized I couldn’t maintain that kind of attitude. I allowed myself grieving time and realized life would never be normal. I then adjusted my sails and just tackled the cancer head-on. I said---cancer doesn’t have me. I am not going to live with cancer. Cancer is going to live with me.”

As tough was it was at the time, Sharon focused on the positive.

“Absolutely---that was the only way I could get through this crisis. Someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with cancer---when the wind doesn’t blow your way adjust your sails! And that’s just what I did. It’s what I live by. If you’re facing something bad change your attitude. Take away the energy that you are putting into the bad thing in your life. Focus on the good!”

No doubt about it---Sharon lives with an attitude of gratitude!

“Absolutely! I cherish and I am grateful for every moment and every day I’ve got. The first thing I do when I get up---I thank God for giving me another day. More time to see my kids grow up, more time to love my husband.”

The bottom line is this: Sharon has hope in her life!

“There are days when hope is nowhere to be found. But, I’m taking away joy from my life if I don’t have hope. Hope brings joy! I definitely live with an attitude of hope. It sounds weird to say because you say cancer and think negative. But, it can’t be that way. You’re spending too much time giving the cancer negative energy. Live with joy and cherish what you do have.”

Sharon Sergeant, one of the Pink Ladies at Avera, is a real survivor who is definitely making a difference as she shares her story during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.