The day Melissa Bentley was diagnosed with breast cancer will be forever etched in her memory. Like many people who hear the horrific news, she was scared, confused, shocked and overwhelmed.

“I remember feeling betrayed by my body and somehow feeling like it was my fault for not taking care of myself,” she says.

The Airdrie mother found the strength to fight in her two young boys.

“Every time I had a bad day, or feelings of defeat, I would picture my boys as adults with children of their own and I would force myself to fight with every ounce of power inside me because I want to be a grandma one day and spoil my grandbabies rotten. I was not going to let cancer take that away from me,” she says.

Lee, Bentley’s husband, is her No. 1 supporter.

“Her courage to fight this and attack this head on was inspirational; she never faulted or stumbled and was determined to kick cancer’s ass,” he says.

Bentley owns Little Steps Preschool and Before & After School Care and says she kept working through her 16 rounds of chemo because she wouldn’t let her cancer diagnosis consume her life.

“Cancer changes you, there’s no doubt about it. But it doesn’t have to change you for the bad. Focus your energy on living the life you want and don’t let cancer define you.”