The gift of Roses

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 Darlene Shorter’s story:

A year ago I had the experience of a lifetime.  I was chosen along with 24 other ladies to be a part of a group that White House | Black Market called, “the 25 women who inspire us most.” The campaign was an extraordinary way for WHBM to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 

I am a 7-year breast-cancer-free single mother of 3, who are now young adults. The camaraderie of the fellow chosen survivors was unbelievable.  After the beautiful transformation, photo shoot, interview and TV appearance we bonded in a way none of us expected.  We all were glamorous and special for that day. Since that time we have lost 2 of our angels who are now in heaven – Vivian Rivera, our songstress and Lori Baur, our protector. They both will be deeply missed.

Since being a part of this wonderful venture my world has came full circle.  I am a new grandmother to a beautiful baby girl named Liana Rose who has a similar name as my mother, Rosa Lee.  We call her “Leelee.” She’s my pumpkin.  My oldest daughter Candace is her mother. While I was going through breast cancer treatment, she opted to bypass college and help me out. This year not only did she become a mother she also completed her education by becoming a Medical Assistant. 

My second child, aspiring marketing guru, attends Temple University and had the opportunity to join me in New York for the photo shoot and was in such awe of the experience. She did a little networking and is now fulfilling her dream as an intern for WHBM in Fort Myers, Florida. 

And last but not least my handsome baby, Tony, my only son who stood by me through me losing my hair. At 12-years-old, he shaved my head bald. He is now in school getting his barber license. What a blessed and wonderful year this has been. God has so richly blessed me and my family that words cannot express.

Finally, during my interview for the campaign I spoke of my dear mother Rosa who was my inspiration.  My family and I are now starting a foundation called “Rosa’s Gift.” The mission is geared toward helping single parents who have been diagnosed with cancer.  We are hoping to have our kick off in January 2012, seven years from the day of her departure to be with the Lord.

I am excited about everyday and thank all of those that made this opportunity possible.  I love my fellow 24 inspiring women and know that we will be forever a part of each other’s live. 

To hear more about Darlene’s personal journey with breast cancer, visit our website to watch her short video.

5 thoughts on “The gift of Roses

  1. Darlene- You are truly an inspiration to everyone. I am glad to say that I have met and know you. 🙂 You are beautiful inward and outwardly. Thank you for sharing your experience. Love-Stacy

  2. Hello, Sis you are a beautiful person and you know you are a truly inspiration role model to me god bless you and, I thank god for you and your family . Happy, Happy Birthday on 7/24/2011 and many more to come,love ya”

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