Below Deck‘s Captain Sandy Yawn has announced her girlfriend Leah Shafer has breast cancer.
Yawn, 54, shared the news on Twitter on Friday, writing, “Not the news we were hoping for” alongside a photo of herself and Shafer together smiling.
“We are ever so grateful for and overwhelmed with all your prayers and well wishes. We love you all so much. Know that we are strengthened by the outpouring of love.”
Yawn went on to share that she and Shafer “remain extremely positive for the future.”
“Together we are stronger, especially with all your good thoughts coming our way,” Yawn continued.
The Bravo star revealed that doctors caught the cancer “early,” adding that “Leah has chosen to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction.”
Together we are stronger, especially with all your good thoughts coming our way. We caught this early thank GOD. So Leah doesn’t have to go through this again, Leah has chosen to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. We're in the process of searching for top surgeons now. pic.twitter.com/zxSDrBrqfW— Captain Sandy Yawn (@CaptSandyYawn) August 31, 2019
We will adjust to our new normal. We will come out strong. It’s going to be hard being apart for 7 weeks, but our love is the real deal, and I will come right home to Leah in Denver after work travel. (3) pic.twitter.com/jrHcFGaCBq— Captain Sandy Yawn (@CaptSandyYawn) August 31, 2019
At this time, the couple, who first met on Facebook in June 2018, are “searching for top surgeons.”
Nonetheless, Yawn explained she will remain by Shafer’s sign, committed as ever.
“We will adjust to our new normal. We will come out strong. It’s going to be hard being apart for 7 weeks, but our love is the real deal, and I will come right home to Leah in Denver after work travel,” Yawn wrote.
“It’s through these tough times we really rely on FAITH and realize how amazing our love is — Much love to you all! And, whatever helps women be proactive, post it!”
It’s through these times we really rely on FAITH and realize how amazing our love is~ Much Love to you all!— Captain Sandy Yawn (@CaptSandyYawn) August 31, 2019
And, whatever helps women be proactive, post it! (4)#SandaleahStrong #LoveIsLove And I love you @leahshafer1 💕 pic.twitter.com/KIIinnzTcn
Yawn concluded the series of post, which included videos and photos of the couple on vacation together, with: “And I love you @leahsahfer1.”
Yawn previously opened up about her romance with Shafer during an interview with The Cheat Sheet, explaining that their relationship began after Shafer reached out and congratulated her on the Bravo reality series.
“She sent me a nice message that said, ‘I came across your show, congratulations, many blessings,’” Yawn told the outlet, adding that her note’s inclusion of “many blessings” particularly attracted her as a spiritual person to the Denver-based skin coach.
After getting to know each other on the social networking platform, the pair finally met in person in Los Angeles, where Shafer explained the sparks between them really began to fly.
“It was definitely unexpected,” she admitted to the outlet of their first face-to-face encounter in November. “It just happened, when you meet another soul that you connect with at such a deep level, it is unexplainable and so beautiful.”
Shafer’s diagnosis isn’t Yawn’s first experience with cancer.
In March, Yawn shared with her Instagram followers that she is feeling grateful for life after being hit by a car four years ago.
That near fatal crash led doctors to discover a tumor on her kidney, which she’s since had removed.
“4 years ago Feb 21st I was riding my motorcycle to the Miami Boat show and was hit by a car,” Yawn wrote on Instagram alongside a clip of a smashed up motorcycle.
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“Due to that crash the doctors discovered a tumor on my kidney. It was cancer. 4 years ago today I had the tumor removed and I am alive and cancer free,” Yawn continued.
“The yachting industry was there for me and of course my family & friends. Today I want all of you to know how much I appreciate you and life! May I never forget and pay it forward.”
“Never stop believing!” Yawn added.