Young breast cancer patient dies after an 8-year battle

TOWSON, Md. (WMAR) - She was among a small percentage of graduates from Boston University to reach the top of her class.  She was among the smallest percentage of breast cancer patients who are so young at the age of diagnosis. 

Bridget Spence was stage four at 21.

"She was pretty much of a loner.  She didn't know anyone else, even in support groups,   that was as young as she was," said Dottie Mooney, Spence's mom.    

We first introduced you to Spence back in October, days before the annual Race for the Cure.  She was sharing her story at her alma mater, Roland Park Country School.

"I love talking to other survivors because I'm a worst case scenario.  I have cancer in my liver, my lungs and in my bones and I'm still living a full life," said Spence to a group of young women.    

Spence's family is holding onto how she lived.  She married her "Big Man" in 2009, the name given to her college sweetheart, Alex. 

Ten surgeries, 20 different drug therapies, and at least three clinical trials didn't stop them from traveling the world.

"She always had in the back of her mind that she was the beneficiary of medicine that had been FDA approved because of other people's trials," said Mooney.  

Her journey is online.  A blog titled "My Big Girl Pants" chronicles the chemotherapy drugs, the tumor size, and her positive attitude through it all. 

Her last writing was one day after Christmas, when she said goodbye to readers.  Her ability to breathe had slipped away.

Bridget Spence wanted to make it to 30.  But her family will still celebrate her legacy on July 16th and every day.

"She received her treatment and then put it over here and then went on about her job and her life and her marriage and her love of life.  And they didn't mix," said Mooney.    

The one thing helping her mom is the belief that Bridget is now with her father, who passed away suddenly four years ago. 

On Tuesday morning at 11, Bridget Spence's funeral will be held at St. Ignatius Catholic Church where she was married.



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