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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Captain Sandy Yawn's Girlfriend Leah Shafer Has Breast Cancer: "Not the News We Were Hoping For"

The Below Deck Mediterranean boss' girlfriend will undergo a double mastectomy.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Captain Sandy Yawn with Girlfriend Leah Shafer

Captain Sandy Yawn's girlfriend, Leah Shafer, has early signs of breast cancer, the Below Deck Mediterranean boss recently confirmed.

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Leah first shared the news of her diagnosis on Instagram. "Today I got results that I have pre cancerous cysts in my right breast area that could end up aggressive because I have the gene as well," she wrote in a post on August 30 that featured a photo of herself with Captain Sandy. "I do not need chemo or oncology, it didn’t get that far. The doctor said remove ASAP!"

Leah said that she is now opting to undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. "My grandmother is 90 and a survivor!!! She got breast cancer exactly at the age I am now, 45. I’m talking about this openly because it’s all about AWARENESS and ACTION and supporting your loved ones," Leah wrote. "Vanity goes out the window, and health and life is embraced. [To] lose breasts to gain life is worth every bit!!! Nowadays surgeons have been gifted to reconstruct. Sandy loves my face anyway Hahahaha keeping the humor."

The gospel singer ended her post by showing gratitude for catching this early and saying thanks to her family, friends, and of course, Captain Sandy for helping her get through this difficult time.

As Captain Sandy discussed Leah's news on Instagram, she said it's moments like these that remind her to live life to the fullest. "Play like you have a child’s spirit, don’t hold resentments, forgive that person who hurt you, love yourself enough to live your dream," she shared. "Make this day your best day because it may be your last day! Don’t be afraid to make waves!"

Captain Sandy later thanked her fans for all of their love and support for the couple, who have been together since last November. "Hi all, not the news we were hoping for. We are ever so grateful for and overwhelmed with all your prayers and well wishes. We love you all so much," she wrote on Facebook. "Know that we are strengthened by the outpouring of love and that we remain extremely positive for the future. Together we are stronger, especially with all your good thoughts coming our way."

She added, "It’s through these times we really rely on FAITH and realize how amazing our love is. Much Love to you all!"

Captain Sandy knows what it's like to go through a cancer scare. Doctors discovered a cancerous tumor on her kidney when she was hospitalized following a motorcycle accident a few years ago. Captain Sandy underwent laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor, which ended up being stage II kidney cancer. She now has kidney scans done every year to make sure there are no signs of cancer, which thankfully there have not been.

The Below Deck Med captain shared some updates on how Leah has been handling this recent news in a post on Facebook on August 31. "Leah is anxious yet knows she’ll be fine. It’s a major, major surgery and major decision, but she’ll get through it. We're wrapping our heads around it all. Everything happened so fast and all at once," Captain Sandy said. "She meets with an amazing female Doctor team here in Colorado next week to discuss the plan and see how long recovery will be because she needs to work and take care of her daughter. She has amazing family and friends that will help her as will I."

Captain Sandy said that Leah has already started to change her diet in an effort to help make sure things go smoothly before and after the surgery. "She will start today with eating super healthy, IV vitamin infusion to nourish her, and prep her body to heal quick," she shared. "Beauty truly is what’s on the inside. The outpouring of love is beautiful and Leah, being a gospel singer, knows we have a great GOD."

Ultimately, Captain Sandy said that she and Leah are hoping to use this experience to help others. "We want to use the next few months on this journey to inspire women! We are not defined by looks or sex appeal. We are defined by our character, mind, strength, values, morals and purpose," she wrote. "She will track her journey and pray it makes a difference."

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