2017 Participant/Breast Cancer Survivor
June Ocean City, MD
I was diagnosed at the age of 37 after I had lost my sister breast cancer years before was scary, yet familiar. I decided on that day that I would fight with everything I had in me, because of a handsome, blue eyed five year old that calls me mommy. I had immediate surgery followed by 16 rounds of aggressive chemo. My light at the end of the tunnel was a beach vacation, but we were unsure as to how to make it happen. With all the medical expenses, it just didn’t seem like it was in the cards for us. I had applied to a retreat in January and I hoped every day was “the day” that I got an email saying I was picked. When that email did come…..I cried! Like for hours I cried! It was truly an answer to prayers and something my whole family needed! As the date grew closer so did the level of excitement at our house! Little did we know it would be way more then a vacation. From the moment we got out of the car and we were greeted by two smiling VolunStars, I knew this retreat was going to be something amazing!
Being around so many strong women, I think made me a stronger woman! I was able to be myself (bald head and all) and I felt comfortable to do so! i learned to step outside my comfort zone and do things I might not normally do, and there was always a friendly hand to help me up if I fell! I enjoyed just relaxing and enjoying the time with my family, it was like I had my life before cancer back! To meet so many women that knew exactly what I was going through was the most amazing feeling…….for once I didn’t feel all alone. I walked away with a larger extended family! I will never forgot this experience! It changed my life for sure!
I hope to eventually volunteer. After being involved with this organization, you can’t help but want to be part of it! This was the first time my son saw the ocean, but he hardly talks about that part of it. He talks daily about the people that we met! They all left a huge impression on all of us!