One of Bakersfield's most popular and young radio hosts says early detection from a mammogram likely saved her life.
Niki Reyes has been diagnosed with breast cancer at just 32 years old. She said she got a mammogram because of a promotion at her radio station. Now, Reyes is sharing her story of discovery and recommendation for other women.
Every morning, Reyes wakes up Bakersfield on Kelly 95.3. FM. Listeners tune in to start their day with the latest gossip and real-life stories from Reyes and her co-host Danny Hill.
Humor helps the duo bring public awareness to local charities and causes. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The station is encouraging listeners to get mammograms at Kern Radiology.
"I decided okay, they have a special for the month of October, 75 dollars for a mammogram, and I said you know what? I've heard so many stories about mammograms. They hurt, they're uncomfortable, it's horrible and I said let me find out on my own," said Niki Reyes, Kelly 95.3 host.
Reyes' focus on bringing public awareness to mammograms, quickly turned personal.
"Your life really depends on it. I didn't know while I was giving that message to everybody else, that was the message that really I was going to end up telling myself," she explained.
"It was very clear looking at this, that there were problems. That this was high risk of malignancy," said Dr. David Schale, as he pointed to Reyes' mammograms. Dr. Schale is a radiologist at Kern Radiology. He said the chance of breast cancer at age 32, is just one in every 10,000 women. "It's amazing. It totally stunned all of us," said Dr. Schale.
"Something that creates a little anxiety in us is she's 32 years old and, by all the screening criteria that the government approved, we should not have done this examination. It turns out this examination may well have saved her life," he continued.
Reyes broke the news to her listeners Friday morning that she has stage one breast cancer.
"I have no family history of cancer on either side or breast cancer. I thought there was no way it could be possible. Well, here I am," she told listeners.
Reyes' Facebook wall is now covered with messages from friends, family, even strangers.
"It's what you need, you know? You really need that," she said. "It's not easy. You have good moments, bad moments. But that's what it's going to take for me to survive it, so thank you to everybody," she said.
Reyes wants to spread her message of early detection as she continues to fight back. "Get a mammogram, because it could save your life," urged Reyes.
The American Cancer Society recommends regular mammograms for women, but beginning at age 40.
For 32-year-old Reyes, she will likely have a double mastectomy in the next few weeks and then undergo radiation and chemotherapy.