Mahatma Gandhi once said – “be the change you want to see in the world.” This aphorism took on a whole new meaning when I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago at just 27 years old. Forced to grow up faster than the average 27 year old, I had to make some pretty quick decisions that I knew would impact me for the rest of my life. The first 6 months after my diagnosis were spent in and out of the hospital, having had 5 surgeries during that time. Amongst the many surgeries…a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Once the dust settled from the initial shock of my diagnosis and once I began my treatment plan, I decided to immerse myself in philanthropic involvement. I have walked in the Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer in Frisco the past 3 years raising money for Susan G. Komen; I have raised funds for different breast cancer centers and non-profits in Colorado thru Breckenridge’s annual Pink Party started by my sister, Ally; and for the last 2 years I have been serving on the board of and am the Denver Ambassador for The Breast Cancer Fundraiser [otherwise known as ‘The BCF’], which is a 501c3 that started raising funds for breast cancer awareness and patient support eleven years ago in Southern California. Through the success of the flagship city, The BCF has launched chapters nationwide, hosting its inaugural event here in the Mile High City this past May where my team and I raised thousands of dollars for the University of Colorado Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine’s massage program for breast cancer patients.
My most significant accomplishment, however, is my creation of the WeCare Package, an internal program at The BCF. Captivated by the words of Gandhi and channeling that change I wanted to see in the world, I used my firsthand experiences as a fighter to create something for future breast cancer patients; something that I didn’t have when I was diagnosed. The WeCare Package is just that- a care package- that serves as a vessel of strength and hope for newly diagnosed patients in need of resources and tools to alleviate the range of emotions one is bound to endure. From informative reading materials and comforting socks, to a yoga mat and travel pillow, this package is full of beneficial resources to help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients in the utmost tangible, caring way. My team and I have spent the last year and a half working on funding and sponsorships for this program to ensure the packages will be provided free of charge. The WeCare program was designed from my personal journey, is packaged with love and due to launch early 2015.
Throughout my journey down this unknown road, I have continued to spread awareness and share my candid story to the many people that cross my path. Most importantly, I know I have successfully used my platform to inspire and educate those around me. I have faith that I will forever be a voice to be heard in the survivors’ community.