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13 Friends for Life celebrates 25 years of saving lives, including one Muskegon woman

“13 Friends for Life saved my life," Val O'Brien says. She wouldn’t have known her five grandchildren if she wasn't reminded to do a self-exam.

This the 25th year of our 'Friends for Life' campaign and Valerie O’Brien of Muskegon is one of the reasons why it continues. 

On October 13, 1998 Valerie saw a 'Friends for Life' reminder on the news. That night, she did her first breast self-exam and found a lump. It was breast cancer.

Despite it being an aggressive form of cancer, she found it early, so she’s still here 23 years later. 

RELATED: A Friend For Life can save your life.

Val was 40 years old and didn’t think it could happen to her. Now she talks about her experience with everyone, reminding them to do a monthly breast self-exam, have a yearly mammogram and schedule regular doctor visits.  

Val has five grandchildren. The oldest is 19 and the youngest is 5. She says she wouldn’t have known them if she didn’t do that breast self-exam.

“13 Friends for Life saved my life," Val says.

RELATED VIDEO: 13 Friends for Life: Drink less for your breasts

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