Triple Step Toward the Cure founder and CEO Lori Flowers contributed this TNBC Aware blog post about her late sister, Sheryl, who inspired her to start the triple-negative breast cancer nonprofit to educate, encourage, and empower women diagnosed with the disease.
Cancer does not run in my family. But general health and longevity do. Both sets of my great-grandmothers lived to be almost 100 and were largely independent even into their last days. My grandmother is 97 and sharper than many half her age and both she and my mother look younger than their years. I always attributed this to our Caribbean heritage. So naturally I expected that genetics along with the salsa dancing and the patacones we grew up eating would help carry my sister, Sheryl, and I into ripe-old age. However, that legacy was not enough to protect my beautiful and brilliant sister who was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in January 2008 at age 40.
I had no idea what was required of me but I immediately went into action mode, and assumed a role that was a constant mix of caregiver, therapist, comedian, and cheerleader. Despite the circumstances, there were many wonderful moments and lessons learned. As the eternal “little sister,” I now had an opportunity to step up for my shero. Continue reading