Car crash leads to discovery of Livonia mother's cancer - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Car crash leads to discovery of Livonia mother's cancer

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By Deena Centofanti
FOX 2 News Health Reporter

LIVONIA, Mich. -- A Livonia mom is fighting every day to beat breast cancer.  Her remarkable story began with a car crash in 2007.  She believes that collision saved her life.

"At first I was angry with my guardian angel because she's supposed to protect me, but then I realized that actually saved me," said Mary Rayes.

It saved her because after the car accident as doctors examined her, they made a stunning discovery.

"They did a MRI of my spine, and that showed that there was a cancer and it was all throughout my entire spine and in almost all my bones that I had in my body," Rayes said.

She had no symptoms, no idea her body was filled with cancer.  Doctors realized it was metastatic, meaning the cancer spread to her bones from someplace else.  But where?

"They couldn't find anything on mammography.  They couldn't find anything by ultrasound.  They even were doing a lot of breast examines and they couldn't feel any lumps or anything like that."

Eventually a breast MRI found a tiny speck and doctors were shocked the small breast tumor could create such massive problems.  The outlook was grim.

"That's the diagnosis they kind of give you when you have metastatic breast cancer is you only have about two years to live," said Rayes.

That was four and a half years ago. There has been chemotherapy, surgery and countless medications, but it was finding a doctor that would ignore the statistics and believe in Rayes' survival that made the difference.

"He's the reason why I'm still here today," she said.

With support from her Team Queen Mary, she is battling the cancer in her breast and bones.  Her goal is to see her youngest daughter grow up.

"Nobody in my family has any kind of cancer, so I don't know why it picked me," said Rayes.  "My youngest was ten at the time, and I really needed to live until she's grown."

All four of Rayes' kids are now back home learning to appreciate every day.

"It's really nice to be able to have all of us here and have those memories that we can build," said daughter Rahme Rayes.

"I just decided to continue fighting all the way to the end," Mary Rayes said.

Saturday, Team Queen Mary will be out in full force at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  For more information about the event, visit

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