ESSEX, Conn. (WTNH)– More than 150,000 women in the United States are living with metastatic breast cancer. But, an Essex shop owner says, not enough people understand the deadly disease.
So, a few days ago, Amy D’Alessio took to Instagram to share her brave story, revealing that for the last four years, she’s been living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that’s now spread to her pancreas.
“It’s fast-growing and aggressive but, guess what, so am I,” she said during the testimonial, a bold, public move, intended to make a difference.
“I don’t do it for prayer hand emojis, that’s not why I’m here,” she said on Instagram.
News 8 sat down with D’Alessio for an interview in the shop she shares with her husband, Jim, called J. Alden Clothiers.
“The main reason is: I believe information is power,” she says of the reason she shared her story.
She realizes her timing – during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – is significant but her take on this yearly event is unique.
“Everywhere I go, there are pink ribbons….honestly, as someone with metastatic disease, it makes me mad because nobody knows – or most people don’t know- about the disease that’s killing us and that’s metastatic breast cancer,” she says. “We have a whole month dedicated to breast cancer awareness and one day dedicated to metastatic disease and I feel like they’re trying to sweep us under the table.”
D’Alessio aims to raise awareness with hopes of increasing funds for research.
“Sometimes, for me, having breast cancer is easier than being the people who love me because, for them, they feel powerless and I at least have a plan,” she says.
The 57-year-old married her old friend in 2019. They now work side-by-side in the shop.
“I want there to be a cure. I don’t want my children to lose their mother or my husband to lose his wife – or all the other men and women who have this disease to lose their life because there’s not enough money going towards research,” she says.
D’Alessio is awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild and has so much to live for.
She’s facing the future with strength, grace, and, in her words, an attitude of gratitude.
“I greet it with love compassion, a little bit of humor, and joy because this is what we have today,” she says, inspiring all of those around her.
D’Alession begins treatment this week – a treatment that will hopefully shrink the cancer.
Click here to learn more about metastatic breast cancer.