Shawna Thomas is a bright young woman pursuing her graduate degree at Texas Tech. She's always had a plan for herself, but her it never included being diagnosed with breast cancer, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.
The 25 year old was busy with her studies and planning her wedding when she noticed a lump. She had previously been diagnosed with non-cancerous growths, so she didn't think much of this one, until her mother saw it and urged her to have it checked out.
She received her diagnosis - stage-three A breast cancer - and immediately began treatment. She has gone through several rounds of chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy in February of this year. Her doctors say she has been responding well to treatment.
Thomas has continued with her studies while battling the disease, refusing to put her life on hold.
"This is what I've been given and this is what I've got to do,"she told the news source. "I tell people if they'd been put in my situation, they'd have been strong, too."
The American Cancer Society recommends women in their 20s begin breast self-examinations, as early detection increases the chances of beating breast cancer.