Thursday, November 5, 2009

Personal Stories

Being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30; married only 4 years and being a mother to a 13 month old was a real shock in my perfect little world. However, thanks to the support of my family, friends and my faith I was able to kick cancer in the butt, and have found a new calling in my life - to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer patients in my community. When I was given my diagnosis in September, 2008 I was fortunate to have the financial means to keep my energy focused on fighting the cancer and my family and not stress about finances. However not all women have the fortunate circumstance I was blessed with. And now as a breast cancer survivor, wife and mother; it is my turn to give back to my local Texans.
I am happy to say that as of January, 2009 I have been given an “all clear” from my doctors and now onto the PARTY I call “My Life”! When I was approached by Jan to join b club as a queen b I was tickled PINK! Becoming a queen b with b club has instilled a passion and drive I had forgotten was in me to focus on my mission to inform, educate and make people aware of the day to day impact both mentally, physically and financially this disease can take on a woman and her family.
After the mental and physical triumphs I have endured after my breast cancer diagnosis, fight and successful battle, I am always ready to CELEBRATE life, have a Party and B-INVOLVED.
With much love,

From the b club website:
B-lieve in the profound impact that emergency funds can have. Here are some true stories from right here in Central Texas.

JS is a African American female of low socio economic status who has battled with her weight her whole life. Because of her size, the method of the breast surgery she had and her lymphedema, she required a customized compression vest. I accompanied JS to the medical supply store for her fitting. At one point there were three of us around JS problem solving the best method to assist her and how to fabricate the vest. JS sat down and started to cry. I feared we had over whelmed her or embarrassed her in some way. No her response was, she said she did not recall the last time she had been treated so special and with so much respect. To me, one of the gifts of the emergency funds is restoring dignity to a class of people that our society over looks.

During a routine lymphedema prevention education session, I identified a woman who was using a rolled up sock from her youngest daughter as her prosthesis. When questioned about this, she replied that with her being so small breasted, she did not think there was a prosthesis that would fit her. I referred her to the store we utilize for post surgery bras and prosthesis. She came back to me for a follow up visit smiling from ear to ear. She said she had never owned such beautiful bras and her daughter was glad to have her sock back! Putting the humor piece aside from this, another benefit of the emergency funds is to be able to address the needs of the whole woman, and to not look at anything as insignificant. Each area is important to the emotional recovery of breast cancer.

This story is from the director of the Seton Cancer Care Team:

As fate would have it the next day after our meeting I received a call from a women who very much was in need of COBRA payment assistance. She had left her job several years ago and kept the insurance. She started her own real estate/ broker business and had been doing well. She recently was diagnosed with breast cancer and was about to start chemo. She could not pay her insurance payment and was delaying her treatment because she could not pay and did not want to get the PET scan etc she needed prior to treatment. We have paid her Cobra and will for the next 6 months and I have also paid her house payment. Her husband is already retired so they are on a fixed income. Her business has been non existent due to our economic situation. They have their house up for sale so they can have some additional funds but of course it is not selling. She was and is extremely grateful. She is also talking with our Chaplain and was also interested in the fatigue program and stress management.


From a thank you note:

Ever so many words of THANK YOU to you for the financial assistance that you gave me for the propane. I was in a tight spot and wondered which I should do, EAT or HEAT. It is a terrible position to be in and it certainly makes one think about those who have to face the same problem many times over. Continue your wonderful work. Your crown in heaven will be a beautiful one when one day you get to see it. You have lifted spirits and gave happy smiles to many.

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