My heart nearly broke when my friends voice quavered and her eyes filled with tears: “I have to have surgery next week… a mastectomy. They found 3 pea-sized lumps at my last mammogram. It was very sudden, but they can get me in right away.”
I hardly had time to process the news. She’d mentioned some strange tests coming back from her doctor but who could have imagined such shocking results. Strangely enough, only a few weeks earlier, a neighbor of ours had her second mastectomy. Then, my twitter friend announced that she was participating in a 39 Mile Walk for breast cancer (yes, 39 miles!) She posted a touching story of several friends of hers who are also battling the terrible disease.
With the subject of breast cancer swirling around our home, we decided we wanted to make our February gift to a local cancer organization, but we didn’t know too much about which ones served this area. To my delightful surprise, my local networking group, the Tweet Divas, announced that our New Year’s gathering would support a vital breast cancer organization serving North Carolina: The Pretty In Pink Foundation.
A vibrant and articulate Pretty In Pink Foundation representative, Bernadette, attended our luncheon and talked about their work. The agency provides funding to women who are not able to pay their medical bills when diagnosed with breast cancer. The website told of one woman who was freshly divorced and was no longer on her husbands insurance policy. Some women have insurance but not enough to cover all the additional expenses, including the recovery time that can often last for months.
Bernadette told the story of many women who discover there is no way they can ever pay the bills (that often skyrocket above $100,000), so they don’t tell their families about their condition. The cancer spreads, taking their lives. Hundreds, if not thousands, of women in North Carolina are dying from a disease for which they could have received treatment.
We knew immediately that we had to choose the Pretty in Pink Foundation as our charity of the month for February. In addition, we decided to make the gift in honor of our friend and in honor of all the courageous women who, right now, at this second, are battling this ferocious disease.