Derby woman who survived shooting beats breast cancer

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DERBY, Kan. (KAKE) -

To say Julie Dombo has been through a lot is an understatement.

"I feel really fortunate to be alive,” she said.  

She was shot twice in the chest during a 2015 robbery, resulting in the loss of her hands and feet. She nearly died.

"I've had to figure out a whole new world,” Dombo explained. “I've had to learn how to walk on stilts. I've had to learn how to do things with my electric hands and hooks, whatever I can do with my limbs. You really miss your hands the most."

Man who shot Julie Dombo sentenced to 23 years for Oklahoma robbery

Two years later a devastating diagnosis, breast cancer.

"We went to New York to have Thanksgiving with my daughter Amy and she was giving me a shower and shaving under my arm and she found a lump,” she recalled.

After months of treatment, she took her last dose of chemotherapy last week, marking the day by ringing the survivor bell.

"That's where I got really choked up when I rang the bell and was kind of making that face because I was crying,” she stated.

And instead of feeling sorry for herself, she finds joy in the little things and uses her story to help others.

"It doesn't do any good to keep worrying about the future or worrying about the past,” she said. “You have to just live in the present, realize that you woke up this morning and you're alive. And you have to sometimes just let go and let God."

Dombo says her husband John has been her rock through it all.

"I'm extremely proud of, probably the biggest thing, is her positive attitude; that's what keeps both of us going,” said John. “There wasn't ever any thought about how we wouldn't get through it but how we're going to get through it."

Through the ups and downs, the couple says they're thankful for the love and support.

"It's everything,” John stated.

Julie added, “It’s everything. If we thought we were fighting this battle alone, it'd be a lot harder but we're not."

James Phillips, the man who shot Julie, was sentenced Tuesday in Tulsa for another crime, adding 23 more years to his 31-year sentence.