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WomenStories Star
 
Wendy and her daughter Nina after the taping of the Recurrence video
On August 20, 2003 Wendy Amato, WomenStories star, celebrated her 7th anniversary of surviving breast cancer. She was diagnosed at 28, one year after her marriage. Wendy has had eight surgeries, including a mastectomy and two lung surgeries; completed four cycles of chemotherapy. She is currently living with metastatic breast cancer to the lungs, the key word being "living." Because both Wendy and her husband, Andy, are therapists, they are able to communicate their feelings, which she believes is key in their staying together and dealing with the kind of stress that metastatic cancer brings. Her strong conviction not to let cancer control her life is one of her greatest coping mechanisms. An inspiration for living is her daughter, Nina, who was born one and a half years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a daily reminder of how good life can be and how blessed they are as a family.

Wendy holds a degree in psychology from Kenyon College and a master's of Social Work from S.U.N.Y at Buffalo. She worked for six years as a school social worker with middle school aged children. After three years of combined child and medical leave, she decided to resign, not wanting to spend more time away from Nina than absolutely necessary. She has since found the perfect part time job working as a school social worker at her old high school. Currently Wendy is the president of the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York and facilitates their support group. In addition, she founded S.O.S., Sister's of Survival, a support group for women diagnosed before the age of 35.

Wendy often says that everything has a silver lining. Becoming reacquainted with her favorite high school English teacher, Mimi Dow, is one of them. Thanks to Mimi, Wendy has been able to share her story by way of video. She says, I always dreamt of fame; little did I know that breast cancer would be the catalyst that would bring it to me.

Breast Cancer has made Wendy appreciate the blessings in her life, snuggling with her daughter; relaxing with friends and family; digging in her gardens; experimenting with new recipes; and taking naps on her porch swing-to name but a few.