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Dundee teacher chronicles her breast cancer journey

Jennifer Howard beat breast cancer while staying in the classroom
Jen chronicled her breast cancer journey on a Facebook page.
Jen chronicled her breast cancer journey on a Facebook page.(Tony Geftos)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT
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DUNDEE, Mich. (WTVG) - Jen Howard is not one to back down from a challenge. The summer before her 25th year as a Dundee High School math teacher, she was faced with the challenge of her life.

“When I checked, I had a lump, which was weird because eight months before that I had a mammogram and it was clear,” Howard said.

Turns out, the lump was the result of triple-negative breast cancer. The mother of two got the news May 9, 2019, and began aggressive treatment shortly thereafter.

Jennifer Howard was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.
Jennifer Howard was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.(Tony Geftos)

Jen started chronicling her breast cancer journey on a Facebook page, bringing updates as she underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, 30 treatments of radiation, two clinical trials, and two reconstructive surgeries.

Through it all, she remained in the classroom teaching.

Through her treatments and surgeries, Jennifer Howard kept teaching.
Through her treatments and surgeries, Jennifer Howard kept teaching.(Tony Geftos)
Teachers and staff at Dundee High School showed their support for Jen.
Teachers and staff at Dundee High School showed their support for Jen.(Tony Geftos)

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jen still teaches in person. She’s also now running for Dundee Village Council. Last week marked a milestone in her journey. It was her final reconstructive surgery.

Jen is now cancer free and running for Dundee Village Council.
Jen is now cancer free and running for Dundee Village Council.(Tony Geftos)

“You know, God willing everything is complete with my cancer treatment and I’m so blessed to have gone through this experience. I mean, it’s not one I would wish on anybody, but what I’ve learned from this experience, like, goes beyond anything I can even express. I have faith and hope in people again. I mean, people have been so good to me.”

Jen Howard, Breast Cancer Survivor
Jen credits her daughters and the community for helping her beat cancer.
Jen credits her daughters and the community for helping her beat cancer.(Tony Geftos)

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