Archive for the ‘Young Survival Coalition’ Category

Beyond C4YW: LBBC’s Continuing Commitment to Young Women

March 3, 2014

LBBCbannerJean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, wrote the letter below to reflect on the end of C4YW and to remind you all that LBBC remains committed to serving young women affected by breast cancer. For more information about our upcoming events and programs, visit our website, lbbc.org.

Dear Friends,

This year marks the end of C4YW, an event that was founded in 2001 by Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) to address the needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45. The following year, we invited the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) to co-host the event with us.

Over the past 13 years the conference became the largest of its kind. LBBC and YSC worked as equal partners in developing the conference, marketing it and raising the funds necessary to meet the need. First and foremost in our partnership was our goal to provide the best information, support and networking possible for young women affected by breast cancer. We achieved that and so much more. More than 10,000 participants benefited from C4YW, and we allocated over $1 million in travel grants to bring women and caregivers to this unique, and many times transformational, weekend.

On behalf of LBBC, I thank you for your participation in the conference.

Last November, YSC informed us with the bittersweet news that they would be ending the partnership following the February 2014 conference. I want to assure you that while the C4YW brand will be “retired”, it in no way impacts the commitment LBBC has to serving young women.

LBBC has been serving young women since 1996, and our strong commitment to providing robust services for them and their caregivers remains steadfast. Currently, LBBC’s Young Women’s Initiative includes:

I am so proud of the rich, timely and compassionate programs LBBC offers young women through our Young Women’s Initiative. In the coming months, I will be working with the board and staff to identify new ways to add to our programmatic offerings that serve this important LBBC constituency.

Onward,

Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP
LBBC Chief Executive Officer
Toll-free Breast Cancer Helpline: (888) 753-LBBC (5222)
354 West Lancaster Ave., Suite 224
Haverford, PA 19041
(855)-807-6386

Our New Vision and Mission

August 20, 2013

2012JeanSachsHeadshotVer2Web

This morning, Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s CEO Jean Sachs released the following message to our friends and supporters:

Dear Friends:

All of us at Living Beyond Breast Cancer are excited to share our new vision and mission statements with you:

Our new vision

A world where no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.

Our new mission

To connect people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support.

These new statements were developed with the help of over 1,200 of you who responded to a survey we sent out earlier this year. Your input was used in a day-long retreat with members of the board of directors and staff. We learned what LBBC services are valued most and why so many have come to depend on our educational programs and services that allow for connection to others diagnosed with breast cancer.

For me, these new statements say with clarity what we strive to do every day and what we hope to achieve over time. Yesterday, I spoke with a long-time friend who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was overwhelmed, scared and shocked. Our conversation and the resources I was able to put in her hands grounded her and provided her with enough comfort and confidence to take the next step.

This is what LBBC does every day, and it is exactly what the new vision and mission statements express.

I hope you share my enthusiasm and, as always, if you have comments I would love to hear from you.

Warmly,

Jean 

Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP

Chief Executive Officer

LBBC

I Talk To Strangers, You Should Too!

March 28, 2013

randi rentz

Long time LBBC blog contributor, RANDI RENTZ, graduated with honors from The Johns Hopkins University with a Masters degree in Special Education. She was an editorial assistant for a publishing company in suburban Washington,DC before becoming a special education teacher in a school district outside Philadelphia, PA. Randi currently is an Asperger’s Support Teacher for grades kindergarten through fifth. Presently, Randi has her own consulting company for children on the Autistic Spectrum where you can see her work at   www.helpforaspergers.com. She is a proud member, supporter, and blogger for many breast cancer organizations and never leaves the house without diamonds. Visit Randi at her web site at www.randirentz.com. Be sure to check out the teaser for her upcoming book “Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds!”

***

Call me crazy, but I look forward to waiting in line, and just about any opportunity to shoot the breeze with people I don’t know. I’m chummy with the guy who pumps my gas, (the only gas station nearby where they still pump gas for you), still exchange holiday cards with my 4th grade elementary school teacher, and the other day I spent a solid hour gabbing with an 81-year old woman I met at the tailor’s while having my pants hemmed.

I’m now a life-long, die-hard people person. I never used to be, though. In fact, I never enjoyed chatty encounters with people I didn’t know…until cancer. I wasn’t hostile before breast cancer.  Every day I had pleasant exchanges with strangers and acquaintances—an enthusiastic “Morning!” or a friendly “Have a great day!”  Such moments continue to be life-affirming, yet, prior to breast cancer, they were blessedly brief.

On-the-fly updates from people I’ve barely met used to drain me. Seriously.  I always felt obliged to respond with genuine emotion, to pay real attention. I would fake outrage or concern, with a performance that was definitely Oscar worthy. That meant stopping whatever I was doing, and force myself to focus. Since my laser-beam concentration was always sensed by the people stopping me, their details got longer and longer. Oy, vey! I felt trapped like a mouse in a maze.

Did breast cancer make me a people person? Well, I think it made me more aware of the little moments in life that make up the big moments. I now enjoy being a true people person—even though I’m inclined to dislike anyone who describes himself/herself this way. Go figure. I digress, sorry. Anyhoo, hear me out. Lifting your head and engaging with whoever happens to be standing next to you is worth the effort. It’s nice to see people smile and to genuinely smile back. It really feels good and refreshing. You should try it.

For one thing, you never know when you will receive priceless advice.  The 81-year-old cautioned me to get in good with my son’s future wife and to always take the dog out for an evening walk to do “its business.” Little did she know, I have no children and own two cats which use a litter-box. Needless to say, I felt it worthy to file away her words of wisdom. Maybe a stepson and a dog are in my future. Who knows? I digress. Sorry. When I left the fitting room, fiddling with the waistband of my pants, she said, “With posture like that, who needs Spanx? Coming from a stooped octogenarian, her words felt like a wake-up call to enjoy my youthful existence.

I believe my world is bigger with my random encounters. My brushes with strangers bring me the thrill of the unexpected, to glimpse a world I used to brush off and otherwise never see or appreciate. In the frenzy of life, with intense money, work and time pressure, I honestly didn’t have much conversational energy to spare.

Now, I think of it as a habit as “meeting new people,” even if I never see them again. My encounters with strangers bring me back to a place where I long to be. I never had grandparents, because they died before I was born.  But now I cherish chance meetings with people of all ages, especially older people. I find their perspective to be rather eye-opening.

Instead of rolling my eyes, I appreciate the interruption. I am so grateful for the little things in life. I now understand what being a warm person means.

And now, onto the Spanx…

LBBC’s Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Focus Groups Need Participants!

March 27, 2013

TN Focus Group Header

Do you have triple-negative breast cancer, or know someone who does? LBBC is planning several focus groups to learn about the needs of women living with triple-negative breast cancer. Groups are planned in the areas of Chapel Hill, N.C., on April 10; Philadelphia, Pa., on April 12 and April 13, (focusing on metastatic breast cancer); and San Francisco, Calif., and Indianapolis, Ind., the last week of April (dates TBD). Groups last 90 minutes, and participants receive a $25 gift card for their time. If you are interested in participating in a focus group, please contact us ASAP at publications@lbbc.org and let us know which location interests you. We will be in touch with more information!

LBBC Introduces New Guide To Understanding Breast Cancer

March 25, 2013

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Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has announced the release of Hormonal Therapy, the newest title in this national nonprofit’s library of Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer. It joins nineteen other LBBC publications available in print and electronic formats designed to address the needs of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

The guide provides insight and answers about the complexities of hormonal therapy, treatment that reduces estrogen in the body, for women with breast cancer. Hormonal therapy for breast cancer is sometimes referred to as endocrine or anti-estrogen therapy. Breast cancer hormonal therapy can reduce the risk of disease recurrence, prevent new breast cancers and improve survival. Approximately 70% of breast cancers are hormone-sensative¹ and many women are likely to receive hormonal therapy as adjuvant therapy – treatment given after primary therapy.

 

The Guide to Understanding Hormonal Therapy was co-authored by Janine E. Guglielmino, MA, LBBC’s director of publications and strategic initiatives, and medical writer Robin Warshaw.  “At Living Beyond Breast Cancer, we know women face many choices when it’s time to begin treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer,” Guglielmino states. “This guide was developed to help women ask their providers informed questions about how hormonal therapies and their side effects may impact their day-to-day lives.  And since hormonal therapy lasts for many years, the guide aims to address the questions women have today – as well as those that may arise tomorrow – as those concerns may very well change over time.”

 

In addition to Guglielmino and Warshaw, a committee made up of more than a dozen oncology professionals, LBBC staff and women affected by breast cancer reviewed and contributed stories to the sixty-six page guide, which is divided into eight sections and written in clear and easy-to-understand language.  Section topics include hormonal therapy options, common questions about treatment decisions, coping with side effects, what to expect when treatment ends and additional resources.

 

The guide focuses on hormonal therapy for early-stage (ed. note – stage 0-II) or locally advanced (ed. note – stage III) hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Hormonal therapy is also used to treat recurrent and metastatic (stage IV) hormone positive disease and to prevent first breast cancers in women at high risk for developing breast cancer.

 

“We believe women can play a powerful role in their treatment when they have the resources to help them make informed decisions and be full advocates for their own health,” say LBBC CEO Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP. “In addition to this guide, LBBC has additional resources at lbbc.org.”

 

Free, individual copies of the Guide to Understanding Hormonal Therapy are available online or by calling (610) 645-4567. Larger quantities may be ordered for a small shipping and handling fee.

 

¹National Cancer Institute

Jeanette Caligiuri: Triple Negative, Triple Threat

July 2, 2012

On Tuesday, July 10th, Living Beyond Breast Cancer will host a free Community Meeting addressing the diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer.  In preparation for that event, LBBC would like to introduce Jeanette Caligiuri, co-founder of Faith & Hope Boutique and an eloquent triple negative breast cancer survivor.

I am sure we all vividly remember the day that our lives changed forever when our worst fears were confirmed; “I am so sorry…you have breast cancer.” I wish I could say I was stunned or shaken, but what I was feeling was almost relief…

Breast cancer has always been part of my life; it very hard to remember a day that we didn’t coexist. The disease has touched every female family member on my maternal side. I have childhood memories of spending Thursdays at Pennsylvania Hospital in outpatient chemo with my mom who was diagnosed in her late twenties. I often assumed that everyone’s mom was bald and unable to hug too tightly because of her latest “boo-boo.” My mother was taken too soon, barely thirty-five, her mother in her early fifties and the chain continued…to me. To some, my story is sad, but to me it’s empowering. I armed myself with knowledge and preventative care. When the enemy came knocking, I would be prepared. I had an army of three who I felt with me through every surgery, each round of chemo and numerous setbacks. I had the knowledge that I was a BRCA1 mutation carrier—the only puzzling thing about my diagnosis that I was to learn was that my breast cancer was triple negative.

“What does that mean?” I naively asked the surgeon, “Negative is good, right?” I heard myself scream with fear. “Not exactly” are not words of reassurance from your doctor as he went on to explain and rattle off statistics that I was no longer able to comprehend. My focus was on aggressive, poor prognosis, higher mortality and many more awful adjectives.

Upon returning home, I immediately hit the web and researched into the wee hours of the morning. I remember waking the next day paralyzed with fear that I would never see the youngest of my three sons’ graduate elementary school, let alone Start College. I vaguely remember time passing slowly until the following weekend arrived, when I attended my first annual Fall Conference: “News You Can Use” hosted by Living Beyond Breast Cancer. That morning, before the first keynote speaker took to the stage, I was embraced into the sisterhood that spoke to my fears and filled me with resolve. If anyone was meant to be in attendance that day, it was me, as a key focus of the conference was on triple negative breast cancer. I learned so much that day and left with renewed spirit and most importantly, hope.

Now that I am a six-year survivor, I have taken many lessons from this journey: that we don’t get to choose what happens to us in life, but we do get to decide how to use it. My experiences have given me a voice to speak to young women while volunteering for groups like Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Young Survival Coalition. I have been rewarded the gift of purpose by co-founding my survival shops, Faith & Hope Boutique. But the greatest lesson I have learned is that good things come in threes: the legacy of my Grammy, mom and myself. My three sons, who I have watched graduate from elementary and high school. That we all have a past, can live for today and tomorrow is future enough to plan for. That most importantly, a triple negative diagnosis what not my ending, but a new beginning.

For more information about Faith & Hope Boutique, a shop fully staffed by survivors who are ABC and BOC Certified and rely on their own personal post mastectomy experiences to aid in your recovery, visit their website. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about triple negative breast cancer, head over to the LBBC website to order or download the Guide to Understanding: Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Your stories make me want to share mine

August 3, 2011

This entry was Rita Marie Pinto. Rita Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25 but looks at the diagnosis as a blessing in disguise:

As I’ve been reading the blogs posted by fellow survivors over the past few months, I’ve felt compelled to share my story.  You women have given me a sense of hope, strength, and sisterhood, and I wanted to return the favor. 

When you’re 25 years old and diagnosed with breast cancer, you truly feel as though your world has just come to an end.  I was at work when I received the phone call that changed my life.  The radiologist said to me “Do you have a moment to discuss the results of your biopsy?”  That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.  “We found malignancy” she said.  I was in total and complete shock; I will never forget the feeling of my heart sinking to my feet.  For the first few seconds, I cried without tears- if you’ve been there, you’ll know what I’m referring to.  Then the waterworks came; I cried hysterically for about an hour.  The worst part about being diagnosed is the unknown.  What happens next?!  Where do I go from here?!  To say that this is scary is beyond an understatement. 

That being said, here I am 8 months later- thankful, blessed, happy, cancer-free, and healing!  I want you know that you WILL heal.  You will get better, you will feel better, and you WILL get through this.  As with any journey, it comes with its struggles: bad days and times where you’re going to want to throw a hairbrush at a mirror and scream to the top of your lungs…literally.  And one day 8 months from now, you’ll be in my shoes with a grin on your face knowing that the worst is over and the best is yet to come, You’ll say to yourself, “Been there, done that!”  I am still a work in progress, but I’ve come so far from where I started.  

Over the past 8 months, I’ve had a battery of tests, a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, 6 rounds of chemo spanning over 18 weeks, port placement and removal, countless doctors’ appointments, and I’m currently scheduled to have permanent implants placed on September 19.  No, it has not been easy by any means, but it is doable.  I’ve been surrounded by amazing family, friends, my boyfriend, co-workers, and all of the wonderful medical professionals taking care of me.  They’ve made me laugh when I wanted to cry, and cried with me when I couldn’t hold it in.  They’ve listened to my every complaint, and they’ve rejoiced with me when things got better.  I will never forget what they have done for me. 

Breast cancer came to me as blessing in disguise. Yes, a blessing in disguise. I’ve accomplished SO much since my diagnosis (I’ll share this with you at a later time) and each day I heal a little more.  My hair is now growing back, I’m eating healthy and working out 3-5 times per week, I just started my dream job this month, and I feel wonderful!  I am empowered.  I’ve chosen to NOT let breast cancer be my “elephant in the room.”  I’ve decided that it is my secret weapon.  I beat breast cancer…There is nothing that I can’t accomplish or overcome!  I am healing.  I believe through writing for LBBC’s blog, I will continue to heal with you as we share our experiences and encouragement.  As the famous song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by The Byrds explains, there is a time for everything, and now is my time to heal.

young woman affected by breast cancer, c4yw

Rita Marie and her boyfriend, Mike, during active chemo.

Rita Marie is just one of many women who has been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. If you were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45, you may be interested in attending the Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer. Visit www.C4YW.org for more information.

A supermodel in my mom’s eyes

July 7, 2011

It was a year ago that our corporate sponsor, White House | Black Market, partnered with us for a call-out to honor and highlight 25 inspiring women who are living beyond breast cancer. All 25 women were dolled up for an expense-paid photo shoot and then featured in White House | Black Market’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month catalog.

Wonder how the experience changed the women over the last year? Let’s hear Valerie Miller’s story:

Being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28 can be terrifying.   Of course, I was quite scared when I was first given the news, but I knew I would have a strong support group and resources to get me through it.  As an active breast cancer advocate, I had learned of Living Beyond Breast Cancer years before I was even diagnosed – through a coworker who was a young survivor.  Little did I know that just a few years later, I too would be a young breast cancer survivor looking for an organization that would provide support, information, and a connection to fellow young survivors.  Through LBBC, I also found Young Survival Coalition, an organization that is dedicated to women under 45 who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

The past year of my life has passed by in a blur.  A year where life was cherished, celebrated, and all too frequently, mourned.  It was a year where I lost my mother, who was my best friend.  A month after my mom passed, I lost a very close friend who was just three months shy of her 30th birthday, an inspiring young woman who was key to my “successful” breast cancer journey, and who quickly became a dear friend.  A few short months later, we lost two of the beautiful women whom I got to meet through the White House | Black Market photo shoot.

I will never forget the day I received the phone call from LBBC telling me that I was selected for a special White House| Black Market photo shoot and advertising campaign.  Of course, it was a moment to be happy, but that happiness was clouded by what was going on around me.  I was in the waiting room at New York Presbyterian hospital in the 5th hour of a 10-plus-hour-day.  My mother was undergoing a very serious, very risky surgery to combat her stage IV colon cancer.  I knew, however, that my mother would be so proud to hear that I was selected for the photo shoot when she awoke.   

In the weeks following the advertising campaign publication, the strangest thing happened…. People started contacting me telling me they saw my face in the window of their local WHBM, or in their catalog they had just received in the mail!  I was quite vocal with those close to me about my experience, but I was hearing from people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in some time.  This was all very uplifting, but the best part of the experience was seeing my mother’s face light up with pride when she saw the ad in Elle Magazine.  “Valerie, you are in Elle magazine!!  Do you know what an accomplishment this is?”  She was still in the hospital, and she made my father keep the magazine opened to the ad at the bottom of her bed so she could proudly display her daughter to all the nurses, doctors, and other assorted hospital staff.

My breast cancer journey has had its ups and downs.  I have met some beautiful friends on the journey, but I have lost some along the way.  I have had wonderful experiences – being selected for national ad campaigns, speaking at hospitals on behalf of survivors, etc.  Each day, I am reminded that I have an obligation to be a positive voice and source of support for others diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am thankful to LBBC and White House Black Market for helping me fulfill this desire to support others.  I’m hopeful that during the coming year, I can continue to have an impact on other people’s lives and make my mother proud.

To hear more about Valerie’s personal journey with breast cancer, visit our website for her short video on a young woman’s perspective of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

My scars no longer make me feel uncomfortable

June 29, 2011

It was a year ago that our corporate sponsor, White House | Black Market, partnered with us for a call-out to honor and highlight 25 inspiring women who are living beyond breast cancer. All 25 women were dolled up for an expense-paid photo shoot and then featured in White House | Black Market’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month catalog.

Wonder how the experience changed the women over the last year? Let’s hear Charron Walker’s story:

I became familiar with Living Beyond Breast Cancer several years ago. I went to a conference they sponsored for young women affected by breast cancer (C4YW). It was a life-changing event. I was able to connect with other young women like me – women with the same struggles, the same fears and the same fight. LBBC had also contacted me in 2009 to participate on the Consumer Advisory Committee for their brochure: Guide to Understanding Insomnia and Fatigue. I was honored to be chosen and to give my input to help others. 

Last May, I received an email from LBBC about an opportunity to participate in a photo shoot for White House | Black Market’s 25th anniversary. WHBM was celebrating 25 unique women who are living beyond breast cancer. I decided to send my photograph and my story. I remember sitting at my computer when I got the call that I was chosen as one of the 25 women. I was at a lost for words. I began to cry tears of joy and disbelief. I could not believe I was selected. I was so thankful for an opportunity to be the face of someone who conquered this disease. 

I never thought that by attending a conference several years ago with LBBC that I would build a solid relationship with an organization that has lasted so many years. I have been able to help women through LBBC that I probably would have never gotten the chance to meet face to face. The chance to be an LBBC Ambassador in the Elle and Self Magazine spread, as well as White House | Black Market’s October Breast Cancer Awareness Month catalog was beyond my expectations. I’m still in awe!

My family and friends were very excited for me. One of my friends at the time, Melissa accompanied me to the WHBM store to get my outfit for the CBS Early Show and another friend, Kim, went with me to the photo shoot. My Pastor, Reverend Steve, called me up to the front of the church the Sunday before the shoot and announced to the congregation that I was modeling now and that I would be featured in two magazines. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. I got so much support from everyone.

The whole experience has made me a better person. I don’t have to look at my scars and feel uncomfortable about my body anymore. My self-esteem has grown by leaps and bounds. I still stare at the pictures that were taken of me with amazement. I have learned from this experience that it does not matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you are beautiful in spite of your circumstances. Beauty comes from within and compliments who you are on the outside. It has also given a boost to my “I can do anything if I put my mind to it” attitude. The only roadblock is myself and the limitations I set. It has also helped me with my program, Young Survivors Network. I am able to tell breast cancer conquerors that your diagnosis is not a death sentence.

I encourage all of you to speak life and walk in your destiny and healing. With God, all things are possible!

white house black market, whbm, living beyond breast cancer, c4yw

To hear more about Charron’s personal journey with breast cancer, visit our website for her short video on being a breast cancer conqueror!

A motherly connection to help heal the wounds

June 17, 2011

This entry was written by Jackie Roth, PhD student at Thomas Jefferson University. Jackie was diagnosed with Stage III A breast cancer at the age of 28. Every other Friday, throughout the entire year of 2011, Jackie will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.

To read Jackie’s previous entries, enter “ Jackie Roth” in the search box on this site.

Jackie and the motherly figures who are helping her through her journey in the absence of her biological mother.

Although the spring is full of sunshine and overall happiness, this time of year always makes me a little sad.  In particular around Mother’s Day, which just passed a few weeks ago.  My mom, Mindy, passed away 6 years ago in July 2005 at 49 years old due to colon cancer.  She was diagnosed with Stage IV disease when she was 48.  It was only six months between the time of her diagnosis and her death.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.  She passed away when I was 23, and I feel like I was just at the age when we were starting to become friends.  I know that I definitely had a little attitude as a teenager growing up, which probably prevented us from being super close.  My attitude was just starting to wear off when she was diagnosed.  I know there is a saying that your golden birthday, which would be when I was 22, is supposed to be the best year of your life.  It was my last year with my mom.

My mom was an absolutely wonderful person.   My husband, Ron, never got a chance to meet her.  She was incredibly smart, one of those people who could just complete a cross word puzzle in no time (and without cheating on the internet too!).  She could sing very well and starred in musicals in her school growing up.  I remember her, and my dad, giving up so much so that my sister and I could have the best opportunities possible.  My mom would drive me to ballet classes and performances in the city after school, giving up her afternoons and evening.   She took my sister and me to the mall at least once a week to shop for clothes for us, but she rarely got anything.  At the last Christmas we got to spend with her we got her a really nice designer scarf, umbrella, and sunglasses.  She cried when she opened the presents because she was so shocked.  Now, my dad has her scarf, my sister has her sunglasses, and I have the umbrella.  

Going through my breast cancer journey is difficult without my mom.  Most of my friends have their mothers accompany them to the doctors, to chemo, to radiation as well as care for them after surgery.  Being sick sometimes you just want your mother.  There are some things that moms can just make all better, and I felt like cancer was one of those things too.  Maybe if she were here, she could make it all go away. 

Although my mom was not with me along this journey, I know she was watching from above and she sent some pretty wonderful people in her place to be with me.  Barbara is my mother-in-law who basically took over my apartment and ran the show while I was out for surgery and chemo.  She sends cards and gifts at each milestone of my treatment!  Dale is actually the mother to one of my best friends, and also a breast cancer survivor.  At the beginning of my treatments, Dale gave me a coin to carry that was with her during her treatments.  It hasn’t left my wallet since.  She also called every week to see how I was doing, and it was great talking to someone who has really been through it all.  My Dad got married just a short time after I did, to a wonderful woman named Iza.  I have a lot in common with her, mostly our love of fashion.  Iza never comes to visit without bringing me a cute new outfit and it always puts a smile on me face.  Although I miss my mom dearly every day, I know that I can count on these women and I am so thankful to have them in my life. 

How has your breast cancer diagnosis helped you form long-lasting relationships with women who you otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths with? Like Jackie, sometimes during devestating times, we are put in the paths of others who have a special way in helping us heal. Tell us your story! Comment here or on our Facebook page.


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