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When Alison Chavez was diagnosed with stage 2/3 invasive ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer, in July 2013, the first “person” she told was everyone — she made a Facebook status while still on the phone with her doctor. Almost a year later, Facebook is telling Chavez’s story in the poignant video below. The 2-minute clip is proof that “the toughest battles need the best of friends.”

Chavez, 37, finished her last chemotherapy session in January 2014 and continues to share her cancer updates on a Facebook timeline she created. She also acts as a mentor in breast cancer Facebook groups to help newly diagnosed patients learn how to cope.

“It never occurred to me to keep my diagnosis a secret, and I’m so glad that I didn’t,” Chavez wrote in her blog for The Huffington Post. “Cancer became such a huge part of my life; I would have had to hide from the world if I didn’t want anyone to know, and that’s no way to live.”

Watch her story:

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