Nursing student uses her training to discover she had cancer

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CALDWELL -

A Caldwell University nursing student says that she used her training in the classroom to discover that she had cancer.

Natalie Pedri says she was learning about self-examination to detect abnormalities. She says that while performing a self-examination on herself, she discovered a tumor.

"It was just a very hard spot that I've never noticed before and the tumor was actually 17 centimeters long,” she says.

Pedri says that she called her professor, Dr. Kathleen Kelly, who was just recovering from breast cancer.  She was told to get checked out by a doctor.

"After multiple tests I ended up at Sloane Kettering and they told me I had stage four kidney cancer,” Pedri says. “My kidney was only functioning at 25 percent. I didn't notice anything."

Pedri had a rare form of cancer called Wilms tumor. It usually affects children under the age of 5. It branches out from the kidney.

Pedri had her right kidney removed, along with the tumor, which was wrapped around some of her organs. She also had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation because the cancer spread to her lungs.

She survived and graduated from Caldwell University this past weekend. She says that she plans to go into pediatric oncology with her nursing degree.

“I have the experience that I went through and I can relate,” she says.

Pedri still needs to pass her nursing boards. She says that she hopes to get her first job by the end of the summer.

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