“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”- Hubert Humphrey
“I have breast cancer.” The words coming from my mother's mouth could not possibly be true. All my ten-year-old self could think was that I could lose my mom, my best friend. I knew that the diagnosis was going to have a huge impact on my family and it did. Using education and research, I joined her in her recovery process. After 36 rounds of radiation and several surgeries, she was declared cancer free. At the end of April, my mom had a double mastectomy after finding yet another suspicious lump. The test results this time were not as positive. We still have hope that the doctors were able to remove all of the cancer cells. What is important is that today, I am blessed to still have my best friend right here beside me.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women today. Each year more than 211,000 women in the United States will face this battle. While a breast cancer diagnosis is less common in men, almost 1700 will face this reality. We have gotten better as a society in early detection of breast cancer, but what happens once the diagnosis is made? Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can help put the disease in remission, but not the fear, the stress, and the sense of loneliness that come as a side effect.
Drawing on my own experiences, I have created this website where kids and teens can discuss their struggles and concerns when a family member has breast cancer. I want to let others know that they are not alone and give families a resource to strengthen them. I founded Pink Ribbon Palz for kids and teens to have a place where they can ask questions, get information, share their stories, get support from their peers, and have fun with web activities - as I build the site. It gives a little light at the end of a dark tunnel for kids who are impacted by this life changing event.
I look forward to a day when breast cancer is a disease of the past. However, until that day, I will continue to raise awareness, raise funds, and raise spirits and hope for those families affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Helping Teens Cope with the Personal Impact
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