PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Philadelphia and Theresa community stood behind her as she battled breast cancer. Now Amanda Burnard is a survivor.
After Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer last October, her friends and family quickly made sure she knew she wasn't fighting alone.
Soon Christmas lights were strung across homes in Philadelphia and Theresa to spell out words like "hope" and "faith". There was a basketball game at Indian River too. Everyone wore green, the first grade teacher's favorite color.
"I just thought, you know, everyone is behind me. I can't let them down, you just have to keep going and fight," said Amanda. "I think all of the energy that people sent and the prayers people sent me really affected me."
Since the last time we spoke to Amanda, she has undergone 16 weeks of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. Now she's cancer free.
"So when the doctor told me that I could plan to be old and gray, of course it brought tears to my eyes and it was just such a relief for me to think that I am going to be there for my for my children's weddings and graduations and everything with my friends. It just filled me with so much joy," she said.
Amanda's best friends who stuck by her are joyful about the news too. They say that Amanda's journey has helped them better understand breast cancer.
"Being there with Amanda through this process has really been eye opening. I feel like I can talk to other people. I've changed my own medical decisions along the way. I think everyone has once it hits that close to home," said Shelby Honeywell, Amanda's friend.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Amanda's message is, "Definitely get your mammogram because that's the only reason that I am in the position that I am right now. I had my yearly mammogram and it was detected at a very small amount so I thankfully caught it early."
Amanda still has few reconstruction surgeries to go along with check ups every few months, but the future looks bright for the survivor and the north country community that fought alongside her.