God Bless Ballistic Vests

Meet Meridian, Idaho police officer Erin Bustos. Erin was working hard keeping the streets safe when she noticed pain in her breast when she wore her ballistic vest. The pain may have saved her life.

In Idaho, Meridian Police Officer Erin Bustos was diagnosed with Stage 2 Grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma on March 5, 2021, shortly before her 30th birthday. That diagnosis came after Bustos sought answers for the consistent pain in her right breast while wearing her department-issued bulletproof vest.

Her diagnosis, already unexpected, was even more shocking considering Bustos is an otherwise healthy young adult with no previous history of breast cancer in her family.

I keep thinking about the irony of her last name: Bustos.

Before embarking on a series of chemotherapy treatments, Bustos was given more life-changing news. If she wished to start a family of her own, she would need to be cleared and start in-vitro fertilization immediately. By the end of her cycle, she and her husband had a record amount of embryos at their fertility clinic, writing in a Facebook post they had 33 viable embryos out of 48 eggs.

The good news is Bustos is likely to recover, and eventually be able to start a family. I cannot imagine what would have happened if she ignored the pain.