Health Team

29-year-old cancer survivor dedicates life to helping others

Posted August 19, 2018 7:59 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2018 7:19 a.m. EDT

— A 29-year-old cancer survivor is now dedicating her life to helping others.

After discovering she had breast cancer in her 20s, Krystle Hensley decided to go to law school to help others in the same situation.

Hensley, of Jacksonville, was in grad school at Tulane in 2016 when she made the life-changing discovery.

"I actually found a lump in my breast," she said.

After a few tests, a mammogram and a biopsy, Hensley's worst fear came true.

"I was in a little bit of denial at first because I was so young and breast cancer is not something that you really think of having when you're 27," she said.

Hensley decided to tackle her diagnosis head on. While maintaining her enrollment in grad school, she began driving to UNC Hospital for treatment.

Hensley had a bi-lateral mastectomy and began chemo a few months later.

"I stayed in school during chemo," she said. "I'd bring all my books with me. I sit there for five hours studying for my tests."

Hensley graduated with her Master's degree, and in a few weeks, she'll begin attending law school in Chicago to study health law. Her goal is to become a cancer rights attorney.

"I want to work with other cancer patients. Helping them know their rights, helping them with insurance and jobs," Hensley said.

Hensley said she'll leave for DePaul University College of Law in a few weeks.