Novlene Williams-Mills, Jamaica’s top 400-meter runner, told the Daily Mail that she was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago.
“It feels like your own body has betrayed you, like I’ve been stabbed,” said Williams-Mills, who revealed in the interview she was diagnosed with cancer June 25, 2012. “I’m an athlete. I work out, I train. It can’t be possible.”
Williams-Mills, who graduated from Florida in 2004, won the Jamaican trials, finished fifth in the 400-meter final at the 2012 London Olympics but then took home a bronze as part of Jamaica’s 4×400-meter relay.
“My teammates in the relay did not know. But I was standing on the podium, and I didn’t know if I would ever run another race.”
Surgeons removed a lump from her breast three days later. She then underwent a double mastectomy.
Williams-Mills, who compared her struggled to that of Angelina Jolie, returned to the track four months after the final operation, winning her seventh Jamaican 400-meter title June 23.
“I’m still one of the top 400-meter runners in the world and I want to see what I can do,” she said in the interview. “Moscow will be for all the breast cancer survivors out there. I want them to know it’s still possible.”