Mary Perry worked for the American Cancer Society for 16 years.
"I saw the walks and participated in the relays and all of those things, but I never realized until it happens to you what those people go through,.
Now Mary is one of those people. She was diagnosed with breast cancer April 15, exactly two months after her mother died.
"I'm a pretty stubborn hard head," Mary said. "And so I feel like sometimes God really has to knock hard to get me to listen and I'm listening."
Mary wasn't listening to her own body. She was tired and had pain but put off going to the doctor. It wasn't until a new doctor recommended a mammogram that they found her cancer.
"It was a huge wake up call, huge, the biggest one in my life," she said.
Ironically, Mary is in the business of listening. Her company, Wings Unfurled, focuses on guided meditation, Angel Readings and holistic healing.
She took to Facebook with a journal on her journey, and now six months later after surgery and radiation, she's cancer free. While Mary credits her medical team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, by nature she's also very spiritual.
"Ask your body to hear what you're saying and see what your needs are and help you heal in the way that you need to," Mary said.
Mary was lucky -- her breast cancer was very aggressive, but she beat it.
"Anybody out there that's listening, if you're not feeling good, get checked out and don't just blow it off. This has been the worst year of my life, but it's also been the best year of my life," Mary said.