Six years after she gave her first speech, Barb Carless was back at DVSS on Friday morning to talk about her battle with breast cancer.
"I had stage one breast cancer back in April 2007, and then I did my first bodybuilding competition two months after that," revealed Carless.
She says the school convinced her to give another speech because the student body had changed since her last presentation, and her message is an important one. She encouraged students to give up smoking at an early age, because everything you can do to prevent cancer helps.
"It was a real eye-opener," said Carless about her cancer diagnosis. "Because, as I said to everyone [at the assembly]: we never think it's going to happen to us, it's always somebody else."
Carless feels fortunate to have found the lump when she did.
"It was simply because I leaned out for a competition that I found this tiny, innocuous little lump that, in fact, turned out to be stage one [breast cancer]."
Because her cancer was discovered so early, Carless was only required to have 16 radiation treatments, instead of the usual 25. The cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes, which meant she wasn't required to undergo chemotherapy treatment.