MOUNT KISCO (WABC) --October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's a disease that can be deadly, but everyday, people are fighting it and beating it.
So many women are forced to make tough decisions in their own battles, and they're forming relationships that can last a lifetime.
One such relationship involves two women who are 17 years apart, but have more in common than they ever knew.
Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson is a radiation oncologist at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Caitlin Lopez is her assistant.
Both have now had prophylactic bi-lateral mastectomies.
Dr. Thompson's was eight years ago, because three generations of women in her family struggled with breast cancer, yet they tested negative for the BRCA mutations.
"My family must have some other mutation that we haven't identified yet," said Dr. Thompson.
For Caitlin, it was a shocker last year. She and her mom discovered they carried the BCRA1 mutation after Caitlin's grandmother had breast cancer, and they are not Ashkenazi Jewish, not in a high risk group.
"I was very surprised. My mother was very, very surprised too. But I guess it doesn't pick and choose, and whoever gets it, gets it. and it was me," said Caitlin.
Dr. Thompson realized after her surgeries mostly that as hard medicine makes advancements in breast cancer, we must do the same for recovery.
"They were putting me in a garment that was diagnosed in 1970," she said.
And so she founded "Best Friends For Life" - BFFL Company. Her pride and joy: a recovery bra, designed to house drains after surgery without them feeling so burdensome.
She's also designed a radiation bra, and pillows for post-mastectomy. Caitlin was more than grateful for them last year.
"It was a rough recovery for me in particular, but I feel as if I'm a lot better now, and recovered," she said.
"It almost spoke to me, like this is what you need to do, help other women who are going through this," said Dr. Thompson.
At the start of this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to keep in mind that their relationship truly defines awareness, because we can all wear a little pink, but friends need to talk to friends.
Women need to help women, in terms of prevention and recovery.
For more information on Best Friends For Life, click here: