Jan Mundine (Staff)
By University Communications
Friday, 10 27 2017
“She believed she could, so she did,”—R.S. Grey
These poignant words exemplify the strength that University employee and graduate student, Janelle “Jan” Mundine, mustered after a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2002. Three years prior to her diagnosis, she begged her doctor to write her a mammogram referral, even though she was only 35. Jan has a family history of cancer, and she knew she should start cancer screenings early. After Jan’s persistence, her doctor begrudgingly provided her a mammogram referral. And just three years later, at the age of 38, Jan received a devastating diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the right breast.
At the time, Jan was a full-time employee and a single mother of two young boys. She was also less than a year away from earning her bachelor’s degree—an achievement that was 10 years in the making. What some would see as a reason to quit, Jan used as fuel to finish her degree. Cancer would not stop her. She handled it all and never lost her grip.
She underwent two lumpectomies, six rounds of chemotherapy, six and a half weeks of radiation, maintained employment, cared for her children and finished her last semester with a 4.0 GPA.
“The finish line of graduation was right there. I could see it. I had people tell me ‘You’re never going to finish,’ or ‘Take a break.’ People didn’t believe in me, but I had to believe in myself,” said Jan.
Jan received her undergraduate degree in Business Management in August 2002. Three months later, she learned she was cancer free. It was a whirlwind year that included some of her most prideful and fearful moments.
In 2008, Jan began working at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Office of the President. On campus, she is well-known and respected for her years of dedication and service. Her Jaguar pride runs deep, and she is now pursuing a master’s degree in A&M-SA’s Counseling and Guidance Program.
Earlier this year, Jan also became a first-time grandmother or “Gigi” as she prefers.
She considers herself blessed, and hopes to share her message of self-advocacy for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This years, Jan celebrates 15 years cancer free.