"Warrior Girl," is emblazoned upon Beverly Marion's shirt, in glittery letters.

It's a title people have bestowed upon her since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

But Marion thinks everyone who has been touched by cancer, those diagnosed as well as those taking family members to appointments, bringing food to neighbors and supporting their friends, has earned the title.

"We're all warriors in this," Marion said.

A group of those warriors will gather to continue the fight at this year's combined St. Croix County Relay for Life at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 7 at St. Croix Central High school in Hammond. Marion is one of this year's co-chairs.

Her main message - do your self exams and mammograms.

"I just want to tell people to take time for yourself and do your exams," she said.

Marion's involvement with Relay started before her own diagnosis. She sold luminarias, and attended the event at Lakefront Park in Hudson.

Then she developed firsthand experience with the cause.

One night last year, a voice in her head kept telling her to do a self exam. When she listened to it, she found two lumps.

"My heart just sank," Marion said.

The next morning she scheduled her mammogram, which led to a second mammogram. That mammogram turned into an ultrasound, which turned into a biopsy.

She got the call about her results a couple days later. She was at work, and stepped outside to answer.

The nurse informed her it was breast cancer.

Marion cried at the news, but then she pulled herself together and went back to work.

At first Marion didn't tell anyone. One daughter was heading out on a car trip to see grandma, another was in Europe and the entire family was preparing for a niece's wedding.

"I wanted to enjoy that day because I knew from then on my life would be completely different," Marion said.

She finally shared the news with her family the next weekend.

"That's when it really hit me," Marion said.

She realized she had no idea what her life was going to be like.

"'I'm going to be OK, I'm going to be OK,' I kept saying, even though I didn't know if that was true," Marion said.

After she was diagnosed, Marion learned it had been five years since her last mammogram. Without a recent mammogram result with which to compare, a PET scan, a scan that obtains images of the body's cells, was needed to determine the severity of the cancer.

The night before she received her results, Marion spent hours in chapel praying. At first she prayed for good results on the scan.

"Then it hit me, there's nothing God can do about this," Marion said. The results would be what they would be at this point.

Instead she asked for strength to get her through the next day, and then strength to get her through everything after that.

Some days it isn't easy.

"Some days I just can't be positive and some days I just can't be strong," Marion said.

But she tries to be most days.

Marion was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. As she received the news, her prayers for strength seemed to have been answered.

"I didn't cry at all that day," Marion said.

She's kept up that strength throughout the entire process. She's still working, cooking for her family, walking the dog and keeping to her routines. She wants to make her life as normal as possible, for herself and her kids.

"I wanted them to see their mom fight," marion said. "You can be strong and you can overcome a lot of stuff."

She began chemotherapy on Aug. 1, 2018. Eight weeks, four treatments, 16 rounds.

In late September she switched to a different chemo drug. She developed a rash that worsened, and later a fever of 103 degrees. After two trips to the ER, she was transferred to Regions Hospital. She asked the doctor if she could drive herself instead; she was hungry.

"I want some dinner," Marion told him.

He told her he would get her food, bringing crackers and cranberry juice.

"Not quite what I had in mind," Marion said.

Her hospital stay was the first one in 18 years, when she gave birth to her youngest child.

In the end all of the tests showed no results, but her doctor believes she had an allergic reaction to the new drug. She stopped treatment, and had surgery in December. It was the first time she had to have surgery.

"I was so scared," Marion said.

Two weeks later, she resumed chemo, completing that round in March. Then she went on to radiation, finishing with that on May 10.

She'll have reconstruction surgery in the fall or winter.

"Then hopefully I'm over it, hopefully it's done," Marion said.

When she was first diagnosed, Marion apologized to her kids.

"I blamed myself for the cancer," she said.

Now she knows she didn't ask for the cancer, but she said she still blames herself for not getting her regular exams.

"If I had done that I may not be in the situation I am now," Marion said.

At first Marion said she questioned, "Why me?" Then she realized, "why not me?"

"Why would I want it to be anyone else?" she said.

Now Marion hopes others will hear her story, and take her advice.

"Do your yearly exams and do your self exams," she said.