Jamaican Olympian Novlene Williams-Mills Reveals Her Struggles With Cancer in ESPN The Magazine

World Championship 400-metre relay gold medalist Novlene Williams-Mills appears in the nude in the latest ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue, speaking about her battle with breast cancer.

‘I work out hard, I eat right. I’ve done everything to keep a healthy body. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do any of that,’ she said. ‘And for this thing to come in my body and take control of it…,” she said in the interview.

Jamaican Williams-Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 a month before she participated at the Olympic Games in London. She, however, competed anyway winning a medal in the mile relay and underwent surgery three days later.

‘You know when you tell a friend something and they betray you? That’s how I feel. Like this thing just stabbed me right in the back. Like it just didn’t care who I was. It just wants to take control of everything and didn’t ask permission. It didn’t know that I have things to do. ‘

Mills who was third at Jamaica’s national championships earlier this month, intends to retire at the end of the season.

She also speaks about getting a double mastectomy.

‘Some experiences, when you get to the other side, you get back to the person you want to be. You look in the mirror and you see all these scars. This is a body that you’re used to so much and then one day you have all these scars on your body,’ she said. ‘And, you know, that’s your story. I had to be like, “This is who I am now. These are the scars that make me up.”‘

‘Before cancer, I would think, “OK, to make me a lady, you have to have your breasts. You have to have this, you have to have that,”‘ she said. ‘Now I realize that what makes me a lady is this strong person that I look at every single day in the mirror.

‘It’s the courage; it’s the strength; it’s the fighter that I have in me that when I wake up every single day, I live to fight another day.’

The magazine will be out on July 7.

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