Stella Mazza, who overcame breast cancer after a 2003 diagnosis, emerged from treatment with a new perspective on life and has shifted her career to make room for philanthropic work.
Since her recovery, the Winnipeg resident, who used to own a bridal salon, said she credits strong support from her family and a positive attitude with helping her beat the disease - elements she is now looking to bring to other women with breast cancer, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
"I [went] into it with a very strong attitude that I was going to do my damnedest to get rid of whatever it was and take care of myself and be strong," Mazza told the news source.
Continuing a down a path of sensitivity and strength, Mazza founded Stella's Cup for the Cure, an initiative in which she sells a special blend of tea to fund the Guardian Angel Benefit for Women's Cancer, a nonprofit organization.
Barbara Shumeley, director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, recently nominated Mazza for a Women of Distinction Award for her support of breast cancer patients.
She called Mazza a person "that truly lives her live to the fullest," claiming "perhaps it comes from being diagnosed with breast cancer."
In the U.S. breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, according to the National Institutes of Health.