Boca mom 'Rocks' stage 4 cancer - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Boca mom 'Rocks' stage 4 cancer

By Rachel Leigh - bio | email

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - At age 36, Stephanie Robin thought she was fine.

"I didn't think for a second that I could have breast cancer," said Robin. "Because my mom had breast cancer twice, I had been getting mammograms since I was 34 years old. I had a mammogram in October which was clean."

But six months later, this young mother's life was turned upside down. "I was actually playing on the couch at home with my son, who was 4 at the time, and he kicked me in my left breast, and I felt something."

Stephanie let it sit for two months. "I really felt no sense of urgency," since she gave herself monthly exams.

But in June the call came, "There was a five centimeter tumor".

Stephanie went into full fight mode. "I had no choice. My children were 2 and 4, and, I thought, there was no way, I was going to let them loose their mommy."

By 2006, Stephanie had won her battle, and during that two-year time, Stephanie also discovered she carries the BRCA Gene. "The BRCA Gene is a gene for breast and ovarian cancer, and it's found mostly in Ashkenazim (Eastern European descent) Jewish men and women, but anyone could have the BRCA gene. And it increases your risk of breast cancer. If you're positive, it increases your risk about 85 percent. Also, an increased amount in ovarian cancer and breast cancer for both men and women."

Stephanie and her best friend, Elizabeth Weprin, started a luncheon at their temple to educate the community on the BRCA Gene and the importance of early detection.

Things were going great, but Stephanie's cancer returned -- this time as stage 4 in her lungs.

Stephanie joined a clinical trial study at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. "I fly up every three months for a CAT Scan, and this November will be three years on the trial which means that it is working. And the tumors in my lungs are 90 percent smaller than they were when I started this trial."

Meanwhile, Stephanie and Elizabeth were joined by Kathy Fleishman and survivor Amy Seidman to turn the Think Pink luncheons into Think Pink Rocks.

"Elizabeth was told that Steve Rifkind is a member of our community and reached out to him. He's the president of SRC Universal Records, and he loved the idea of doing a concert. He had just moved to Boca, and his father also had breast cancer."

This year, Steve Rifkind will be donating the talents of Nelly, 50 Cent, Flo Rida, Shontelle, Pitbull, DJ Kassidy and several others. "We raise a lot of money that goes to breast cancer research, and we get the word out to thousands and thousands of people that there is a BRCA gene."

The Think Pink Rocks concert is Saturday at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Learn more at ThinkPinkRocks.com.

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