Faces Of Survival: Jenna Griner

Cancer survivor Jenna Griner stands for a portrait at the Augusta Boxing Club.

FAMILY: Husband, Rich, and two children; Abigail, 9 and Benjamin, 7



OCCUPATION: Part-time ballroom dance instructor at Augusta State University


DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: April 2009; double mastectomy and reconstruction


HER STORY: Early detection of a lump in her breast allowed Griner time to choose between several options her doctor proposed.

Although tests and biopsies produced only one cancerous spot, she chose to have a double mastectomy and reduce chances of additional cancer years down the road.

Six months passed between her April diagnosis and surgery in September.

“I couldn’t talk about it much without breaking down. It was a hard summer,” said Griner, 40.

At the time, Griner thought she was alone in being diagnosed at a young age.

“I took my own box of tissues with me to the doctors,” she said. “I looked around and I felt so out of place. Everyone there was in their mid-50s or older.”

Now, Griner participates in a support group for women mostly under the age of 40.

“It was so helpful to actually meet one of the women who was beautiful and confident,” she said.


HER ADVICE: Griner reminds other young women that they are not alone in breast cancer. Remain hopeful in knowing that people survive every day, she said.

“There’s really nothing I can’t do,” she said. “I’ve been completely restored. I look and feel great.”


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