'My son saved me from cancer'
Just seven months after Albabbili's shock diagnosis, she made the decision to undergo a mastectomy of her right breast to remove all the cancerous cells.
It was back in 2013 when Syrian expat, Farida Albabbili, noticed a brown discharge while breastfeeding her first born. Soon after, at the age of just 32, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I call my son my saviour, my gift. If it wasn't for me breastfeeding him, I don't think I would have found out," she told Khaleej Times on Day 3 of the Pink Caravan Ride.
Just seven months after Albabbili's shock diagnosis, she made the decision to undergo a mastectomy of her right breast to remove all the cancerous cells. It was her "best chance as other treatment options may not have worked", she said.
During that same operation she underwent a reconstruction of her breast with an implant.
"It was a lot to take it but I had such huge support around me then. I was just 32 and had a nine-month-old baby, my first, so it was a tough moment in my life. I stopped worrying about the aesthetic changes. I knew I had to do it for my son."
Now 37, Albabbili said she gets a breast check-up once every six months and is urging other men and women - young and old - to take advantage of the free screenings during the PCR.
"Most people think young people are immune to things like this. We're not. I wasn't. But if you detect the disease early, the survival rate is high, so stop putting it off and do that one thing today that might scare you today! It's not worth burying your head in the sand when it comes to your health."
Heading down to the mobile clinic in Dubai Design District on Monday, Albabbili said she actually stopped by to inquire about the genetic test that's been introduced for the first time this year. "The test costs about Dh8,000, so it's not affordable to most and it's not covered by the insurance. If I test positive again in my left breast, I would like to do the genetic test to help decide my treatment options, but I will likely go for a double mastectomy."
While Albabbili is currently cancer-free, she said her past has taught her one thing: though her cancer did not spread back in 2013, she will always be proactive with her health.