July 25, 2012
I am a 14-year Breast Cancer survivor and was introduced to ABCD in the early years! My Breast Health Coordinator suggested that because I was relatively young at the time of diagnosis, I might want to consider helping other younger women with my story of hope. When she suggested that she would be giving me Melodie Wilson's phone number, I recall feeling rather star-struck, having watched her over her career as a TV-Broadcast Journalist. I humbly took the number and after a few days of practicing what I would say, I called. My life was forever changed by that one phone call. I became an ABCD Mentor and later a Board Member, and now a happy volun-cheerleader!! ABCD is a small organization with all the might of a giant non-profit. It keeps true to its primary purpose - to help those affected by Breast Cancer. They are an organization of smart, innovative, passionate, dedicated, and funny people and our healthcare community and our community at large would not be the same without them. Let me wrap things up with this - my surgeon, my oncologist, and all my healthcare practitioners set out to do ONE thing...save my life, for the rest of my life! They did it with care, they did it with compassion, and they stayed laser-focused on that goal. It wasn't until I started reading some books and talking to other women (before ABCD was born) and learned for example that beyond my head-hair, my eyebrows and eyelashes would likely fall out, and they did. I wouldn't have thought to buy and use a bra that hooked in the front, because it was going to be a while before I could stretch to reach my bra that hooked in the back. These aren't the kinds of a thing that the medical community is built to delve into...and that’s o.k., but gosh golly I'm so grateful for those kinds of nuggets. Now ABCD isn't all about eyebrows and bras, no! A Mentor is able to provide emotional support and share what is to be expected in that regard as well. That is quite invaluable, because your healthcare practitioners are saving your life and your family is filling in the gaps and making your life work while you're doing what you need to do, coping as they can, and even your BFF can't relate to what you're experiencing (unless she/he is a survivor too), so there is something so useful and comforting in talking to practically a complete stranger (at first) about what's going on and being able to ask those questions you can't ask anyone else! Great organization...wouldn't be me without them!
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