Aside from my girlfriend Theresa convincing me that this would
be a great idea, this was a great way to honor my mother after she
lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She and her mother
(my grandmother) were breast cancer survivors as well.
When my mother died, my only daughter, who at the time, was 21,
wanted to have surgery to remove her breasts, ovaries, and uterus
so she didn't have to worry about cancer. What a shock it was
to me to hear this. It meant no grandchildren. Wow,
powerful. I convinced her that I would seek genetic
counseling and we would go over the results of the statistics.
As it turned out, I'm on the watch list, meaning, I'm twice as
likely to have breast cancer as the average population and fall
into the normal probability of having ovarian cancer. This
was good and bad news. So my daughter and I need to
ensure we follow the recommendations for screening.
Back to my reason for supporting this effort, I want my daughter
to have a normal life, free from worry about cancer. Just
maybe our team, and the other supporters will get a little
Legacy Ford Team - 3-Day Walk
Donate HERE to help Kris & the team!
There are so many reasons…. So I'll
choose to share with you one of my favorite stories.
I am a survivor of Breast cancer. Going through cancer
changed my life in many ways, some bad and some good. I
prefer to dwell on the good.
This is a story of how a stranger affected my life and how these
events became life-changing for me. The story isn't about
just one stranger but a sequence of strangers who passed this
kindness full circle.
It was summertime and I was at home sitting in the recliner with
my feet up and my eyes closed. I was feeling the effects of
chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can be intense, but
oh-so-worthwhile in my way of thinking. My husband, Kevin,
needed to mail a letter so he headed down to the corner postal
The lady behind the counter at the postal store struck up a
conversation with my husband. She asked him about the
pink bracelet he was wearing. My husband is the
big-tough-looking-type so I guess she knew there must be a story
behind the bracelet. Kevin began to tell the story of how his wife
had breast cancer and that I was currently going through
chemotherapy. This kind lady reached under the counter and handed
my husband several hard candies. She explained to him that
some of her Aunts had gone through chemo and that they had told her
that hard candies would sooth their stomach. She asked Kevin
to bring the candies home to me. When Kevin came home and
told me the story I was so touched. This was someone who
didn't know me, a stranger who cared about a stranger. This
was so cool.
Later that day Kevin needed to mail another letter. This
time he took our son, Kyle, with him to the postal store. The
same lady was behind the counter. When she found out that we
had two children she opened up the cash register and from the edge
of the drawer she took out two fifty cent pieces and handed them to
Kyle. She explained to them that the postal store had a
customer who was a coin collector and that this gentleman had
brought in these coins. The coin collector had told the salespeople
"These are for Good Luck. Please give them to children you think
need them." Wow, how awesome! A stranger shared with
another stranger who shared with my children! My children
were 7 and 11 when I was diagnosed and have always been my
world. Cancer was definitely not in my parenting plan.
These acts of kindness were powerful for me. I knew that any act
that powerful needed to be acknowledged. So a few months
later I went to the postal store to let the lady behind the counter
know how grateful I was. She remembered the story. I
went on to thank her and tell her how these acts of kindness had
changed my life. She was humble and thankful that I shared
this with her. She said that no-one had ever said anything
like that to her before.
We spoke for a few more minutes and then she began to cry.
I hugged her and then asked her why she was crying. She said
to me "I am so afraid. A few women in my family have had
breast cancer and I am scared that I might get it
someday." With that I smiled and said to her "I have
been through some of these things that we are all so afraid
of: cancer… chemotherapy… mastectomies…. and I am still
standing here in front of you. If by chance you do get cancer
the treatments continue to get better all the time." With that she
smiled a peaceful smile. A stranger affected the life of a
stranger. Kindness was passed full circle.
I try to pass forward the kindness that was shown to me. I
know its power. So that is why I will walk….To affect the
lives of others…. Strangers, or maybe we could just call them
"people I haven't met yet".
Kathy is a member of the Legacy Ford Team that's participating
Susan G Komen 3-day walk . Click the link to donate for
Kathy's team, and pick up the October/November issue of MOM Mag to
learn more about Kathy!
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