Her Story: Atlanta's Alison Bales


The WNBA is dedicated to raising funds and awareness of breast cancer during the week of August 3rd to August 10th. Throughout the week, players around the league will share stories of how the disease has affected them and those closest to them in a feature known as "Her Story."

Two of my aunts, both my mom’s sisters, are breast cancer survivors. This is normally a sign that there may be an increased likelihood of the disease affecting women in the family if it runs on the mother’s side.

My one aunt was diagnosed when I was fairly young, about six or seven years old, so I don’t have many vivid memories of that time. However, my other aunt was diagnosed two years ago, and I obviously saw first hand what my aunt went through.

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I remember my mother calling me and telling me what was going on. My mom is actually a physician, so my aunt turned to her a lot to be able to work with her on medical plans and to just get a better idea of what the doctors were going to do.

We weren’t sure at the time how long she was living with the disease, so we were pretty worried. But it’s been a good two years now and luckily she’s doing a lot better now and well on her way to recovery.

My cousin and I, her daughter, are really close. She’s the same age as I am and we talked about it a lot while her mom was going through treatment. My family’s really close, so we all pulled together and really supported my aunt as she went through her battle with breast cancer.

I’ve definitely developed a better awareness of the disease. Like I mentioned earlier, if two women on the mom’s side are diagnosed with it, then it increases your likelihood. I think all of us are more aware of it and we make sure to get checked out early.

I think it’s great that both college basketball and the WNBA have stepped up their support for breast cancer awareness because it’s such an important issue affecting women right now. For the premiere women’s league to support that issue, it really shows that we’re behind it and I think that it’s an excellent step in the right direction.
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