No one says they want to be a survivor, unless they have to be one. Survivor is a title Natalie Grumet didn’t expect to carry.
It was at the age of 27 that she had to face the diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer. After undergoing six rounds of intensive chemotherapy and numerous surgeries, she beat the odds and eventually recovered. Soon after going into remission, she dedicated herself to patient care and rebuilding her life. She is currently a diagnostic ultrasound technician at St. Joseph Healthcare Providence Mission Viejo Hospital in Viejo, California.
She became a survivor and inspiration to many through her work and story. During her recovery, Natalie began sharing the coping mechanisms she developed over the last decade to help others break down their walls to realize their full potential and overcome adversity.
Living and loving her life, post-diagnosis, Natalie decided to take a trip in 2017 with a group of friends. Little did she know her life, her courage and her title of survivor would be challenged once more. On the evening of Oct. 1, 2017, while attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip with a group of friends, a gunman opened fire, shooting Natalie in the face, nearly killing her.
Natalie recalls that tragic event clearly. She says after making her way to safety at a nearby hotel, she was taken via ambulance to Sunrise Hospital where her jaw was noted to be completely obliterated — her chin fractured in half, facial nerves destroyed, leaving the left side of her face partially paralyzed. She spent 20 days in the intensive care unit and underwent nine surgeries during the first year.
After 10 years in remission from breast cancer, Natalie found herself fighting for her life once again. And once again, she became a survivor.
“Natalie is an inspiration to me with her dedication to telling her story as being a breast cancer and Route 91 survivor. She is compassionate for those in need and has taken her struggles to assist and advocate for others,” said Jennifer Henry, executive director of Links for Life.
It was during Natalie’s fight against breast cancer that she became acquainted with Links for Life. She joined the organization’s support group and was instrumental in forming the “Youngish Support Group,” a group for those diagnosed under 40. After moving down south, she kept in touch with her survivor sisters at Links for Life.
Grumet will be this year’s guest speaker at Links for Life’s “Love Links” fundraiser and luncheon held at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace on Feb. 13.
In her downtime, Natalie enjoys spending time by the ocean near her home with her husband of 16 years and their 5-year-old miniature pinscher. She also enjoys gardening, getting lost in a good book, volunteering and she jokingly calls herself a “dessert connoisseur.”
Natalie is a survivor and a true warrior. Her message is one of perseverance to help others find their inner warrior to keep fighting and moving forward. ￼
Visit Natalie’s Facebook group, “I Am a Warrior,” where she journals frequently and shares life experiences with her 5,000 followers. ￼