CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Valley woman battling colon cancer said a conversation with a friend convinced her to get tested. And if she waited longer, it could have been a whole lot worse.
"The doctor said that it had probably been growing for five to 10 years. And if I would have waited even just one more year, it would have been disastrous. So since it had already spread to one lymph node, the next thing it does is it goes to your organs," said Tiffany Ledoux, who is now undergoing chemotherapy.
"If somebody wouldn't have shared their story with me, I wouldn't have gone in to get checked. I do have a family history, so in the back of my head, I knew I should get checked at some point, but the baseline has always been 50 years old. I'm young and fit and healthy and I thought that it wouldn't apply to me," added Ledoux.
She is still able to work, but those hospital bills are adding up. It's almost $100,000 so far but it's unclear how much insurance will cover. Ledoux's coworkers at Darwin Wall Real Estate Team are now putting on a golf tournament fundraiser. It's May 8 at Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler.
"My initial reaction was, no, I didn't want any of that. But I was public in sharing my story with friends, and I was amazed at how many people reached out to me, and one asked my symptoms. There were some people that that reached out just to ask, you know, if they should go get checked for different things. And so I thought, OK, it's actually helping people. So, in me being, you know, open about it. I knew that the golf tournament would be more for raising awareness for helping people," said Ledoux.
The goal is to raise $20,000. Tickets are sold out, but people can donate either raffle items or monetary donations by clicking here.
"Tiffany is awesome. She's definitely competitive. She has a great attitude to this whole thing. I mean, we're all just in awe of her. You know she's a fighter, and she's been real positive," said Darwin Wall, who works with Ledoux and is behind the fundraiser. "If anyone's going to beat this, it's going to be her. Like I said, she's a fighter for sure." Ledoux just hopes her story inspires others.
"The awareness and getting the word out that whether it's colon cancer or breast cancer, or anything else that's maybe nagging at you, just to not be afraid to go get it checked out," she said.