Breast Cancer Awareness: One Mom’s Story

Alison Berry doesn’t look as sick in this photo with her daughter, Pamela, because she’s wearing her favorite wig. (Photo courtesy Pamela Moore)

  OCEAN COUNTY – Alison Berry touched many lives during her time on Earth, and her loved ones are hoping that she will continue to inspire after her passing.

  “My mother noticed a lump on her breast in her late 20s and she ignored it for bit,” her daughter Pamela Moore said. “Being a single mom she was hard pressed to work two jobs and take care of me, and most of the time she put herself on the back burner. When she was around 35 years old, she was in fact, diagnosed with breast cancer, for the same lump.”

  In the years that followed, the cancer metastasized. According to, metastasis happens when cancer cells break away from the original tumor in the breast and travel to other parts of the body.

Alison Berry. (Photo courtesy Pamela Moore)

  She had several surgeries including breast removal, lymph node removal, and a hysterectomy. The disease also spread to her thyroid. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

  “I believe earlier detection could have helped slow the spread of her cancer and may have allowed her to live longer, but I also believe in the 90s, awareness was not much spoken about,” her daughter Pamela told JerseyShoreOnline. “After 20 years of battling different spreads of cancer, she was put on hospice and peacefully passed away at the age of 57, due to breast cancer with metastasis, on October 5, 2022.”

  Alison would have turned 58 on October 24. The family plans to have a memorial.

  According to, breast cancer makes up about 1 in 3 of new cancers diagnosed in women annually. More than 300,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2022, and about 43,250 people are expected to die from it this year. It’s more prevalent in women, but men can also get it. October is breast cancer awareness month.

  She was very strong, battling hard for 20 years. “She had over 7 different bouts of different types of cancer, she lost her hair more times than I can count – probably 4-5 times through multiple chemo courses,” Pamela said.

  “My mom always preached awareness, especially with all she went through. I have been genetically tested to see if we have the same gene mutations – which we don’t, but i also have been getting mammograms since I was 25 and get them every two years or so,” her daughter said.

Family was always nearby as Alison underwent treatment. (Photo courtesy Pamela Moore)

  “My mother was very Godly, always felt like she was blessed, and never complained about any of her struggles,” Pamela said. “She enjoyed crocheting, painting, being the best aunt and sister, mother, and praising the Lord.”

  Alison Berry and Julie McBride met when they were 13 years old in 1976. They grew up as best friends. Years went by and miles separated them, with Julie living in Whiting. They reconnected on social media and picked up where they left off. This meant learning the good things going on in their lives…and the bad.

Julie McBride photographed her hair before cutting it off. (Photo courtesy Julie McBride)

  Julie explained how her friend noticed a lump years ago but kept putting it off. By the time she got it treated, it was the size of a plum.

  To show solidarity with Alison, and to raise awareness, she had her head shaved at a salon in Bayville.

Julie McBride had her head shaved for breast cancer awareness. (Photo courtesy Julie McBride)

  “If she hadn’t ignored that little lump, she’d be here today,” she said. “Early detection can save your life.”