Family of breast cancer survivor with autism tells her story

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PETERSTOWN, WV (WVNS) — When Tabitha Cyrus was 3-years-old, she was diagnosed with Autism.

“That’s not a diagnosis a mother ever wants to hear,” Rebecca Giberts, Tabitha’s mother, said.

More than thirty years later, Tabitha, or Taffy, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“The second words a mother never wants to hear is that your daughter has breast cancer,” Gilbert said.

Taffy is non-verbal, and has a very high pain tolerance, both due to her autism. So, when her sister, Leslie Cyrus, was taking care of her, she noticed a lump.

“Watched it for a couple days, a week or so, it started changing to different colors, started moving. We took her to the family doctor and he said she has cancer. I can flat out say it,” Cyrus said.

She had stage four breast cancer. Taffy and her mom and sister were about to face a long journey. Taffy had to be sedated for every chemo treatment and scan, and she had to have a complete mastectomy.

But after fighting for everything her whole life, this was just one more battle from which she was not backing down.

“You’re going to do everything you can to keep her. Her life is not done,” Cyrus said.

Now, Taffy is in recovery, only a few years away from being in remission. Her mother said this was just another journey that made her stronger.

“But through all of this, Taffy has become stronger. We all have become stronger,” Gilbert said.

Fighting her way through life and coming out on the winning side.

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