A mother of three turned her cancer diagnosis into a message of hope to inspire others who are newly diagnosed to take control of their situation.
Jamil Rivers joined "Good Morning America," along with her husband, Ricky, and their three sons, Tre, Michael and Joshua, to discuss how she has stayed positive through her metastatic breast cancer treatment.
"I'm doing great. I did a year of chemotherapy," Rivers said. "I worked through chemotherapy the whole time, and now all of my tumors that were spread all around my body have shrunk to microscopic size. Every three months I do a scan; I just go my latest scan April 15 and it's still clear," she revealed to cheers from the audience.
She said her family, including her husband, who has battled his own array of health problems for years, have been instrumental.
"My family is everything to me. They are the reason I am pushing forward, the reason why I am breathing, the reason why I exist," Rivers said.
"I love them so much," Michael, 7, added, putting his arm around Joshua, 6. "They take care of me and my brother."
Last winter, a common cold hit the family, but when Jamil's symptoms did not subside, she learned it was something more serious. Test results revealed she had Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Throughout 10 months of chemotherapy, Rivers never quit her full-time job and refused to let cancer define or defeat her.
Her husband had a liver disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), for which he had a liver transplant. He also survived both kidney and colon cancer, and said after he had the tumor removed from his left kidney, he has "no more signs of cancer."
Their eldest son, Tre, 17, said that just looking at his parents has shown him "how strong they are."
"[They're] determined and just helpful to everyone else going through it and just forthgoing with everything they're doing. I just appreciate it," he said.
Jamil Rivers also found strength in her "community of girlfriends" who were also diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
I think we've got a stable complacency with breast cancer that the work has been done because the survival is getting better
"We're all going through the same thing supporting each other, and so it just makes me hopeful that we're going live a long time with this," she said.
But even with the support, she said there's still work to be done in terms of education and research into metastatic breast cancer.
"I think we've got a stable complacency with breast cancer that the work has been done because the survival is getting better, but metastatic breast cancer, only 5% of breast cancer research is going to stage 4 breast cancer, which is abysmal," she said. "We really just need to have more attention to not have metastatic breast cancer be in isolation where there's more research and focus on this."
She also shared a reminder for other cancer patients.
"There are so many organizations and people out there that will support you," she said. "I'm even on Facebook and Twitter, you can reach out to me if you just need somebody to pull you through. We can push forward together. There's strength in numbers."
She continued, "And people that are not living with this, know your risk. Especially black women."