Breast cancer diagnosis shocks Congressman's wife

'You are never too busy to take care of yourself,' says Tia Diaz-Balart

Author: Constance Jones, Reporter, Anchor, CJones@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 03:00:46 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2012 05:00:00 PM EDT
Diaz-Balart
KENDALL, Fla. -

Tia Diaz-Balart, the wife of U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, is like any other working mom -- always putting her family and career first.

That's until she made an alarming discovery.

"When I felt the lump, I had an immediate reaction. A jolt of fear that ran through me. It was really scary," said Tia Diaz-Balart.

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As the wife of a U.S. Congressman, Diaz-Balart said her schedule was always packed.

Before Diaz-Balart found the lump, she never even thought about going to the doctor. She put off mammograms for years until a nagging cold forced her to visit her physician.

"It was the only thing that drew me to the doctor because I wanted get my voice back," said Tia Diaz-Balart. "He reminded me to 'Get your mammogram. Make sure you get your monthly exams.'"

That's what prompted Diaz-Balart's own self-examination. After she felt the lump, she was back at the hospital.

"He got me in for a mammogram and ultrasound. I went thought the entire battery of tests, including the biopsy. It came back positive," said Tia Diaz-Balart.

It's been two years since Diaz-Balart was diagnosed. After chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she is now cancer-free.

"Now I feel great. My energy is almost back," she said. "I feel just very good about life overall."

Diaz-Balart is hoping to share her message to others -- that you are never too busy to take care of yourself.

"The problem with women is that we are the nurturer, we are the caregivers, we are thinking of everyone else first," said Diaz-Balart. "I want to make sure women test themselves, make sure they do what they need to do for prevention and testing."

Diaz-Balart is also a spokeswoman for the Susan G. Koman Race for a Cure. She is encouraging everyone to participate in any way possible to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Click here for more information about the race or to join Tia's team.