The best of friends since first grade, Katie Gormley and Maddie Cantrell have been side-by-side through it all: braces, boys, books.
"We've just had a great throughout like, maybe 15 years, quite a long time," said Katie.
It is a friendship that has endured the test of time, and now distance.
Katie, a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, is studying abroad in Rome, Italy.
Maddie is a UT student spending the semester in London as part of an honor's program.
Countries apart, but still connected.
"We can show each other our rooms, and it's just really a blessing," said Maddie.
"I have this picture of her on my wall right here," said Katie, while holding up a picture of Maddie.
They Skype or talk on Facebook routinely, and once a month, they touch base with a very important reminder.
"I'm going to Skype Katie and tell her to buddy check!" said Maddie.
The two became buddy check buddies before they left on their academic adventures.
"We were talking about self breast exams and she mentioned WBIR, and we were like, we have to be buddy check 10 partners," said Katie. "And keeping it going throughout our travel experience is important."
At 20 years old, Maddie knows not to take her health for granted, even her breast health.
Last year, she was diagnosed with a debilitating immune disorder. She's eliminated the bad from her diet and added a lot of good, including breast self exams.
"I just kind of wanted to make sure that I took care of myself in every way," she said.
And what better way than with her best friend? Even if she is several countries away.
"We'll always be friends," said Katie. "We might as well be buddy check 10 partners for the next 50 years or so."