By: Amanda Gold
During the fall of my 8th grade year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. In an attempt to find something good to go along with a cancer diagnoses she looked up, “free things you can get if you have breast cancer.” This google search is what started my now five year long adventure with Little Pink Houses of Hope. This trip started with the retreat I was sent on with my family in 2013 to Carolina Beach. Next, I volunteered with my step-mom in 2015 at the New Smyrna retreat. Then, I was invited to speak on the panel at the 2016 Little Pink Gala. Last, I was able to volunteer for a second time with my step-mom at the 2017 Ocean City retreat. I plan on volunteering more in future years, not just with Little Pink, but also with other organizations that I am passionate about.
My mom’s breast cancer diagnosis came as shock to me and my family. My mom found the irregularity in her breast herself and doctors weren’t able to find anything wrong until they did a MRI guided biopsy. This biopsy is how we found out that my mom had stage 3 breast cancer. This discovery came at a difficult crossway in my life. I was in 8th grade and dealing with all of the drama that seems life altering at the time. The diagnosis first and foremost scared me. None of my friends had experienced anything like it with their parents so I wasn’t really sure who to even talk to. However, a short way into her treatment my mom told us that we had been selected for a week long all expenses paid vacation because of her diagnosis. We went on this
Little Pink retreat and at the time I didn’t embrace the experience I had been given. I was surrounded by families going through the same thing mine was and it was a surreal atmosphere. It wasn’t until my second volunteer experience when I really began to understand what the organization was about and how much I could help others through it. The family I was given was
a single mother and her teenage daughter. At first the girl wouldn’t talk to me and I couldn’t get her to participate in much. I understood exactly where she was coming from though because I had been in that exact same place three years before. I didn’t stop trying and I was able to get her to talk and open up by the end of the week. I didn’t realize I was doing anything special until a fellow volunteer talked about me at the end of the night when we were sharing our favorite parts of the day. She talked about how special it was that I was putting in my time because none of the adults would be able to get the teenagers to connect with them the way that I could just because of the age difference. She then continued to say that hoped that she would be able to raise her children to be as hardworking and as caring as I was. This compliment opened me up to how much I was doing and how much more I could do for people going through hard times in their life that I could relate to. Little Pink has given me a path to follow in the future to help more people than I ever imagined and it has inspired me to work with more non-profit groups in the future.
I have always been told that I would go to college and I have maintained a education path in high school that backs it up. What actually inspires me to go to college now is that I love to learn and a college degree will open up many door for me with future goals that I have for myself. My goal in college is to learn as much as I can in and out of the classroom. I am enrolling in the honors college and the smaller class sizes will make this goal much more attainable. In college I also want to learn how to live a healthier life taking better care of myself and how to live on my own. With whatever future career I end up having I have the goal of making a good impact on as many people’s lives as possible. I am majoring in political science and I hope to work in lobbying fighting the good fight for companies that help people that aren’t as well off as others. Most importantly, my career goal is to find something that I love and want to do for the rest of my life. My life goals are to be a volunteer for the Peace Corps and to start a non-profit of my own. I was introduced to women while on a Little Pink retreat that had done the Peace Corps when she was younger and I was able to talk to her about her experience and it made me want to be apart of that organization that helped so many people and at the same time be introduced to other cultures not familiar to me. My other goal to start a non-profit has just came to me recently. For the last year I’ve had to figure out what I wanted to spend the next four years studying and the only thing that I knew for sure was that I wanted to help people. Finally, I figured out the best way to help people my own way was to start up my own organization that would help them. These goals are going to be hard to achieve, but with my determination and hard work I am sure that I can make it happen.
I would have never thought that my mom having breast cancer would lead to good things in my life, but I was completely wrong. Little Pink has given me an area to help people that are going through things that I have experienced in my own short life. This opportunity has also helped me. I’ve been led to a path that I think will make me the most happy in life. Helping
people is what I want to do and if I hadn’t been introduced to Little Pink I wouldn’t have discovered the ability I have in doing that. Cancer is something that no one should have to go through, but it still happens and having an organization like Little Pink helps those who have to go through it. I want to be able to help people in that way and I thank Little Pink Houses of Hope
for helping me realize that.
By: Amanda Gold