This year, I'm doing something huge and amazing!
On Saturday, June 3, I will be modeling in one of Austin's most theatrical and esteemed fundraisers - Art Bra® Austin - benefiting the Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC). Art Bra® Austin is a fully-costumed, professionally produced runway show and auction that raises funds to support local women who, like me, have been affected by breast cancer.
By supporting me, you will ensure the next woman diagnosed with breast cancer will have a place to ask their questions, explore their options, and connect with fellow survivors and lifers who can relate in a way no one else can.
I myself am a two-year breast cancer survivor.
My cancer journey began with a 2-mm lump just under my left breast. I for several months had felt the bump but did not do anything about it. Why? You may ask. Well I was a busy Human Resource professional and didn’t have time to have cancer. I had lumps before that turned out to be benign, so in my mind I thought this lump was also benign.
However, one evening while watching TV with my family my breast felt as if it were tightening up. Kind of like those horrible cramps in your calves. The kind that the feel like the muscle shrank to the size of a walnut. I thought to myself…”This is not normal”. I made a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out.
And so, my cancer journey began. Visits to radiologists, the Breast Surgeon, the Plastic Surgeon, the Oncologist and endless blood draws and imaging. So many decisions to make. Should I have a lumpectomy? Should I have a mastectomy? Should I have a double mastectomy? If I went the mastectomy route do I reconstruct? Not to mention the many options for reconstruction.
Ultimately I opted for a double mastectomy and a DIEP flap reconstruction because after all the tests it turns out I had a 1mm lump in my right breast. Both lumps were cancerous. I wanted to be rid of this inconvenient disease that was hindering my life.
The surgery to remove my breasts and reconstruct my new cancer free breasts took 9 hours. There were many weeks of recovery that followed. The team of doctors that handled my case were extremely compassionate and professional. I could not have picked a better team for my health care needs.
During this whirlwind of activity after being diagnosed I was introduced to the Breast Cancer Resource Center. What a Godsend. They provided me with a support system that helped me to work through the layers of emotions that come along with breast cancer. Programs such as the after-cancer support group, educational programs, programs to help eat better/healthier, online support groups. All of this provided free of charge by compassionate, knowledgeable and caring individuals.
I was also blessed with a very strong support system at home. My parents, brother, friends, daughter and my rock…my husband. The man who updated my family throughout the day of my surgery, cleaned my drains, made my meals and kept me feeling safe and secure. I will always be grateful that he is a part of my life.
But not every woman has that and the BCRC provides so many avenues of support. Emotional, financial and educational. All free of charge to their clients. The women I have met in my support groups each has a different cancer journey and they move forward day by day with such grace and courage.
Having breast cancer has made me a better person. I now have a better understanding of what is important in life. I am thankful for the many friends and family that prayed and still pray for me. I try to breath in every moment and experience with enthusiasm. Knowing that each day is a gift.
I am thankful for the help and support that I have received through BCRC and look forward to paying it forward. So, that others that need assistance can get the care and support that they need.
Please help me ensure every woman gets the help she needs, and consider a contribution towards my Art Bra® Model fundraising efforts. I HAVE UNTIL JUNE 3RD TO REACH MY GOAL!!
To donate, click on the 'Donate Now' button on the top of this page!
Thank you! I appreciate your support!
Help. Hope. Here.
Breast Cancer Resource Center
Art Bra® Austin
Art Bra® Austin is a charity fundraiser like no other. Every year, Austin's talented community of artists, designers, and jewelers submit their original works of wearable art to be showcased by a dynamic group of Art Bra® Austin Models - all breast cancer survivors and clients of BCRC. This feisty group of BCRC clients reflect the diversity of the thousands of women we serve annually. For most, Art Bra® Austin is a transformative experience. The unique event is a tribute to their courage, strength, and tenacity and the result is a triumphant show filled with light, color, movement, and most of all - attitude!
Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC)
The Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) is a nonprofit organization providing guidance, education, and assistance to thousands of local women whose lives have been disrupted by breast cancer. Staffed by breast cancer survivors, BCRC helps each woman find her footing and determine the solutions that are right for her.
BCRC was founded in 1995 as a volunteer-staffed helpline and a single support group. Today, in addition to being survivors, BCRC staff are trained support professionals and experts in where to go, what to do next, and how to keep a woman moving forward through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. We serve more than 2,200 women annually, offering personalized guidance, robust educational opportunities, and several financial and personal assistance programs. All of it – free of charge – to the client.