“I think she gave women permission to accept this as part of them, but not all of them,” she said. “I am a nurse. I am a wife. I am a mother, a grandmother, a gardener. I am also a breast cancer survivor.”
“Mrs. Ford became the first important public figure to utter the words ‘breast cancer,’” remembers Eric T. Rosenthal writing in Oncology Times, “following her diagnosis and radical mastectomy in September 1974, just months after her husband assumed the presidency. Public disclosure and openness were especially important then for a nation still reeling from the Nixon Administration's recent disgrace."