BHA Survivor Story: Ruth Hanessian

In 1993, Ruth Hanessian found a lump in her breast while carrying out a self breast examination. A biopsy confirmed that she had malignant tumor and Stage 2 breast cancer. Ruth opted to get a mastectomy. Following surgery she underwent six cycles of chemotherapy and found herself wanting to talk to other women who had experienced the same battle. Ruth was introduced to three other breast cancer patients and they would get together every week for lunch. They called themselves the “Lunch Bunch.”

Now cancer free for 18 years, Ruth’s journey has been long and hard but through the Lunch Bunch she has been able to find an outlet and reach other people who have been affected by breast cancer. Over the years, the group has expanded to other women and now a few men. Ruth describes the Lunch Bunch as her team sport. The group provides support for others because each member has the knowledge that there will always be a group of people to back them up when they are faced with obstacles and struggles when battling cancer.