I’ve always embraced life to the fullest. After graduating from Florida State University (Zeta Tau Alpha), I met the love of my life, Tony, and
when the opportunity presented itself, we decided to start our lives with a cross-country road trip, where we laid down roots in Nashville, and I started my now 13 year sales career with T-Mobile and we began to grow our little family.
Our daughter, Reese was born in 2004 and a year later I found a lump in my neck accompanied by exhaustion, persistent night sweats, coughing, and trouble breathing. Since I was only 35 years old, my symptoms confused physicians and led to countless doctor’s visits yielding no concrete answers. My frustration mounted and I decided to try my luck with googling my symptoms. Articles on Hodgkin’s disease flooded my search results and my doctor agreed to perform a biopsy. Imagine waking up from a biopsy with a port in place and an oncologist ready to start an extensive and invasive chemotherapy plan. This was my reality. I was diagnosed on the surgical table with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Time stoped, life was a complete blur, I felt every moment racing by with chaos swrilling around me... but throughout the entire experience, my most poignant memory was from the chemo treatment room filled with dozens of cancer patients...No one ever divulged their names, only the cancer type they had and the chemo treatments they were undergoing. It was a weird badge of honor yet fully protecting thier hearts and souls and masking their fear. Their remarks still resurface in my mind. Some patients talked about their death, and they eventually died.
While other patients discussed their will to live, and against all odds, they lived. Throughout every moment I sat though treatment, I promised myself to forge my own destiny and put my mind over matter. I’ve never complained about developing cancer, but I was adamantly declaring to the world, “I’m not going to die and leave my beautiful 2 year old daughter to grow up without a Mom.” I felt all parents should get joy of watching their children grow up. This experience gave me new insight and fueled my will to live and began my journey as a survivor.
2017 marks my 10th year in remission and have the honor of being nominated by the National Capital Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Washington DC for the Man and Woman of the Year campaign to raise funds for research.
Every dollar counts to end this horrible disease that affects each and every one of us. My goal is to raise $50,000 to support a research grant in my daughters name. My hope is my MWOY campaign provides researchers with the funds they need, while giving others suffering from cancer the inspiration to fuel their own passion for living.
Please visit my Web site often and tell friends who would also like to donate!
On behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, thank you for your support!