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Women in Sports Who Beat Breast Cancer


This week’s #BreastCancerAwareness post is all about survivors. We’re featuring some of the women in sports who successfully fought against the disease. Beyond being survivors, each of these women also became advocates in the fight against the disease.

Martina Navratilova


Martina Navratilova ended her career and remains one of the most successful players of all time. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles (including 9 Wimbledon Championships), 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles championships and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles. When she retired, she had a singles record of 141-52. In 2010, Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since undergoing radiation in the same year, Navratilova has been cancer free.

Novlene Williams-Mills


Novlene Williams-Mills is one of the fastest women in the world. The Jamaican is a four-time Olympian and a World Champion in the 4×400 meters. In July 2013, Williams-Mills told members of the media that she was diagnosed with breast cancer before the 2012 Olympics. Despite the diagnosis, she ran the 4×400 meters and helped Jamaica secure a bronze medal. After the Olympics, Williams-Mills had a mastectomy and went on to continue to compete until 2017.

Dorothy Hamill


Dorothy Hamill is a retired American figure skater. From 1974 until the 1976 Hamill held the U.S. Women’s Singles title. She is the 1976 Olympic and World Ladies’ Singles Champion. In 2008, Hamill was diagnosed with Stage II estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. She endured surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in her treatment of the most common form of breast cancer. Since undergoing treatment Hamill has been a vocal advocate in the fight against the disease and for empowering women to take charge of their treatment.

Edna Campbell


Edna Campbell is a former WNBA start who, at the height of her career, in 2002 was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite her diagnosis, returned the next season and continued to play through her treatment. Following her retirement, Campbell when on to found and be the Program Director of Breathe and Stretch, a health restoration program for breast cancer survivors. She also authored The Breast Cancer Recovery Manual, a guide for breast cancer survivors to recover from breast cancer surgeries and treatments based on her experiences.

Robin Roberts


Robin Roberts Roberts is an American news reporter. From 1990 until 2005 she was a sportscaster on ESPN. Roberts was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Hall’s class of 2012 for her contributions to and impact on the game of women’s basketball as a broadcaster and player. In 2007, Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer which she treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Following her battle with breast cancer, Roberts was diagnosed with in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the bone marrow. Since overcoming her diseases, she has been a champion in the fight against her diseases.

Each of these women, and others like them, have inspired others to fight breast cancer and to live life to the fullest extent as breast cancer survivors. GladiatHers® applauds them for their courage and thanks them for their willingness to share their journeys with the world.


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