Jesse Ramdeo

For most of her life, Sade Weekes has been facing battles that would leave many broken. From sexual abuse to depression, she has had to dig deep to keep her head held high.

In a year riddled with surprises and underscored by sweeping changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29-year-old may have been left the most rattled as she faces a new fight, breast cancer.

Despite still being in her twenties she intends to fight harder now than ever before.

“When the doctor told me I was in the room with my mum and aunt and I started laughing, the reason being it was such a surprise. I don’t have breast cancer in my family, we don’t have any history of it at all.”

Just two years prior, Sade had detected an unusual lump in her left breast and underwent tests and surgeries. Her hopes of being out of the woods, unfortunately, faded.

“I didn’t know how to think, I didn’t know how to feel I thought it was over and it kept re-inventing itself in new ways.”

In the months following her diagnosis, the petite-framed young woman underwent 16 cycles of chemotherapy, her courageous fight leaving behind its battle marks.

“My lowest point I would say is when I started losing my hair. The treatment was hard but when I started losing my hair it was an emotional time. You grow up hearing people saying a woman’s hair is her beauty. It just started falling off right after the second treatment. I was like, my hair is going and that is when I came to terms that I had cancer.”

The latest dagger to her heart followed a dark period in Sade’s life. She was abused by a close male relative and endured other personal trials and tribulations which all culminated with severe bouts of depression, which, on many occasions left her suicidal.

Despite her adversities, the performing arts student’s faith remained unwavering and she found comfort in more ways than one in God. During her interview with Guardian Media, she explained that there was also another person key to her overcoming her battle against breast cancer, her mother.

“I know how emotional my mum is, so losing me would have been hard for her. We have a very close relationship and it wasn’t always like this, so to be able to leave her, I couldn’t do it. I literally had to tell myself, ‘Sade get up and do what you do best out’.”

Sade is now expected to undergo a mastectomy mere weeks before her 30th birthday next month. She is hoping her story enlightens young women in particular to be vigilant about their health.

“I really did not think at this age it was possible for me to be diagnosed with breast cancer, so please go and get your screening done and do your self-examination as often as possible.”

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall.