By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — When 46-year-old Justine Dymond heard those disturbing words she knew her life would never be the same again.

“They told me, I have advanced breast cancer.  It was very hard to hear. I am mean who wants to hear that?” Dymond said.

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The Springfield College professor and mother was diagnosed with stage 3 advanced breast cancer in 2014.

“It was full stop because I am very active healthy and annual mammograms by the way,” Dymond said.

Now she’s a strong advocate for the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition; a non-profit that focuses on cancer prevention through public policy, education and outreach.

“Our focus is prevention, in helping people understand what it is they need to do to lessen their exposure to toxic chemicals.”  Executive Director Cheryl Osimo said.

The MBCC says right now 1 and 8 women is being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. This month the MBCC is about to kick-off their thier 24th annual  “Against The Tide Swim, Walk, Run, Kayak” fundraiser event on June 18th in Hopkinton State Park.

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For Osimo the fight is very personal. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in back in 1991.

“I’ve been able to live for two decades which has empowered me to do this work and help change the future,” Osimo said.

Justine says the “Against The Tide” event reminds her that she and her family are not alone.

“It means hope. When I participated in the event last year I got to meet other women who survived breast cancer. At that moment I felt that fear wash away from me,” Dymond said.

Today she’s in remission, but her fight to end breast cancer is far from over.

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“I am alive because of treatment. We don’t have a lot of support and attention for the preventive side of the equation,” Dymond said.

Paul Burton