April 26, 2021 was a BIG day for me and these two pictures were my WHY.
The first photo is of my grandmother, who lived to be 99, my mother, my 2 younger sisters and my oldest baby, Kalin.
The second picture hits harder.
This is a photo of my mother holding my youngest baby, Dylan. On this visit, she informed my husband, Doug and I that she was diagnosed a second time with breast cancer and the outcome didn’t look good. She passed away 4 months later at the age of 64.
December, 2020, I took a genetic test. I discovered that I had a genetic mutation (similar to BRACA-1) that increased risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. This solidified my decision to have a double mastectomy.
For those who know me well, know that it was hard for me to accept help and support. This did not mean I didn’t appreciate what friends and family do for each other…I just am very stubborn and like to be in control. So, we formed a charity, “HOPE CHEST” that would allow me to ask for support, while spreading kindness and paying it forward.
With double mastectomies, come tubes and inconveniences of being connected for weeks. There are clothing apparel to help handle these drains. Some women are unaware of these clothing items or unable to purchase the items. We collected donations to purchase sweatshirts to help support these women already going through a stressful time. The sweatshirts are provided to the doctors office to hand out to women BEFORE their upcoming surgery.
The support gave me a positive outlook on my upcoming surgeries (hysterectomy was later that fall), hopefully made my mother proud, and gave me hope to live a long life with my husband and children. HEALTH PREVENTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. YOU ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHEERLEADER AND ADVOCATE. Regular screenings and checkups can save lives. ❤️❤️❤️