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Bachelorette Katie Thurston Opens Up About Undergoing a Lumpectomy at Age 20

Taking her health into her own hands. Katie Thurston revealed that she had a cancer scare when she was just 20 years old, which led to a lumpectomy operation.

Related: Katie and 'Bachelorette’ Cast Reveal Picks for Next Bachelor

“I often get questions about my scar,” the season 17 Bachelorette, 30, captioned an Instagram Story photo on Tuesday, July 27, showing off the mark on her chest. “It’s from a lumpectomy after finding a lump in my breast. Because I was only 20, I discovered this on my own.”

Thurston went on to encourage others to take an active role in their health, especially young women. “Typically women don’t get routine mammograms until their 40s, so it’s important to be your biggest advocate when it comes to your own personal health,” she continued.

Bachelorette Katie Thurston Opens Up About Undergoing a Lumpectomy
Katie Thurston ABC/Craig Sjodin

The reality star concluded by mentioning a foundation created by Michael Allio, who competed on her season of The Bachelorette after losing his wife, Laura, to breast cancer in 2019. “I want to take this moment and highlight @TheL4Project which @Michael_AllioL4 has founded as a way to carry on Laura’s legacy,” she noted, adding a white heart emoji.

Related: Everything Katie Has Teased About 'Bachelorette' Ending

According to the TV personality’s post, The L4 Project’s mission is “to enrich the lives of people and families battling cancer by supporting organizations that provide financial, experiential, emotional and other assistance during times of hardship.”

Allio, 37, became a fan favorite after he shared his story of becoming a single dad to son James following his wife’s death. The business owner left during the Monday, July 26, episode after his only child wondered if his dad did not want to see him anymore due to his absence during filming.

Related: Stars Who Beat Cancer

The former bank marketing manager was emotional over the unexpected exit, telling the cameras: “It’s very possible that my person just left.”

Bachelorette Katie Thurston Opens Up About Undergoing a Lumpectomy 2
Katie Thurston Courtesy of Katie Thurston/Instagram

Although Allio revealed during The Men Tell All, which also aired during the Monday night episode, that he was open to giving it another shot with Thurston, she noted that she had to move on after his departure. She added that she believes her ending worked out the way it was supposed to.

The Ohio native reflected on the breakup at the Men Tell All taping. “I always go back to that day when I had to say bye to Katie. It’s not something I wanted to do but as a parent, [it was an] easy decision. I would do it a million times again, just like I did there without thinking twice,” he exclusively told Us Weekly. “I knew when I had to make that decision, that I was leaving an opportunity to pursue an amazing life with someone that I care about and finding that person is really difficult.”

He continued: “And I think that’s kind of the conundrum parents and single parents always have [is] to balance time with someone that you love, like, your child and then you as an individual. And how do I pursue that happiness? And a lot of times — and I’ve spoken with a lot of widowers and single parents — they’re scared to do that. I understand it, like, a million times over because I still feel it. You give a little bit of time, it takes from something else.”

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