Life changes in an instant when cancer comes into your life. Cancer comes swiftly and quietly and forces you to make life altering decisions practically overnight. It seems like one of those things that happens to other people until it happens to you.

How quickly I found out that I was not alone when it touched me, as others reached out in friendship to share their stories and to welcome me as their “Breast Sister.” I discovered I am now in a sisterhood of survival where every day we are cancer free counts and we rejoice in being alive.

No one can really understand this battle to the extent of those of us who live it. But for those who support us and help us recover, they become our guardian angels. Our survival could not be possible without them. I have seen real humanity in caregivers, doctors, health professionals, family, and friends as they alter their schedules on a moment’s notice to work me in, to take the extra time to talk, to let me know they care or to make simple gestures of kindness with encouraging words and flowers. Simple thanks cannot alone express what an effect these kindnesses have made.

This journey has made me feel like a warrior, determined to win the battle and beat the enemy. As friends and family members tell me I am their inspiration, it makes me a stronger person prepared for what I will face along the way. Since this is the path that God has sent me on, I will follow this new journey more
determined than I have ever been before. And from this, good will come to me and others in ways that can’t yet be realized.

It is from this shared experience that we “Breast Sisters” saw a need for a booklet to help others navigate through cancer treatment. We wanted something that could simplify the overwhelming amount of information about breast cancer and personalize it within our community.

We began with a plan to raise money for our project under the name “Breast Cancer Awareness.” Within four short months we accomplished our goal and made our first booklet a reality. We owe a big thanks to the Western Heritage Artists and the WHA Footprints on the Trail Art Show, who gave us the opportunity to have a platform to raise money for our “Bears that Care” campaign and for making us a recipient of their Art Competing for Causes event. The overwhelming support from sponsors, buyers, and those who donated made this endeavor successful. The Breast Cancer Awareness booklets will be available at Sletten Cancer Institute and other providers in the medical field and our mission will continue with our Bears that Care for Cancer campaign. These bears will be sold at Electric City Conservatory and at Wild Out West. Money raised from future bear sales will go towards the publication of a second booklet which will be produced before October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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