Lisa, a 51-year-old breast cancer survivor wearing a brightly colored “Breast Cancer Survivor” t-shirt, beams as she is greeted at the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.® tent by representatives and volunteers. Her smile is one of resilience, determination and gratitude — all honed over her battle with cancer.
“It was devastating,” says Lisa of her diagnosis in 2011. “I was in a state of shock.”
Lisa relied on her friends, family and support groups to get her through the difficult times. She started chemotherapy and radiation and in late 2012 received the best news she could receive — she was cancer-free.
When asked how it felt when she heard those words come from her doctor, Lisa took a deep breath then slowly exhaled. Her body seemed to slip into a peaceful stance. “Joy,” she said as her eyes filled with tears.
Later in the day, more tears fell under the NBCF tent — but this time from a volunteer. Stacey, age 46, was decked out in all her breast cancer awareness accessories as a way to honor her late mother, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010.
“I hope she’s proud of me,” Stacey says of her mother, noting that the NBCF tent is important for women because of the early detection education and support services they offer. Throughout the day, Stacey could be heard encouraging other women to be aware and know their bodies so that they can take control of their health — a key talking point passed onto each woman who comes through the tent.
“It means a lot to me that these resources exist,” says Stacey of the education and services offered by NBCF. “Being aware saves mothers and daughters, and if I can help one person with my story — it’s worth it.”
For more information, visit nbcf.org.