Mahalo to everyone who participated in our Aloha for Courage Lei Giveaway!
We are touched by the stories and strength of not only your loved ones who are currently battling or have survived breast cancer, but the support, love and positivity you bring as their friend or family member. We admire and are inspired by your kindness and generosity in helping to spread aloha to those affected by breast cancer. Below are some of the stories we received from those sharing in their loved one’s battle.
Submitted By: Sheryl C.
Nominee: Athena H. of Georgia
I had the opportunity to be hired by Sheryl at the beginning of the year. I didn’t even know that she had a recent battle/recovery with breast cancer. The first time I learned of it was by her making an off-handed joke about it. From the start of my association with her, I have admired her strength, passion for life/people and her ability to give herself to various charities that support those who have, or are, going through it themselves. I do not admire many people, but this ball of fire is definitely deserving of a little thoughtful attempt by me to recognize the beautiful and strong person she is.
Submitted By: Valerie O.
Nominee: Nadia O. of California
Nadia is my daughter-in-law. She and my son, Reyn, were married 3 yrs. ago right before my son entered the Pharm program at UCSF. He just graduated in May of this year and they were planning on starting a family. They traveled to Europe for vacation, a plan they had made when they got married, to be able to spend quality time, just the two of them before welcoming keiki into their family. A few months after their return, Nadia discovered a lump in her left breast. A mammogram, ultra sound and then biopsy confirmed that she has a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. She is only 28. To give this couple hope to having children one day, they harvested Nadia’s eggs and they are frozen until needed. She has had a set back with an infection at the port sight where she will receive chemo. Hospitalized for five days, my son stayed by her side praying that the infection was not in her blood. Praise God, it was not and she was discharged and sent home with oral antibiotics.
She received her first dose of chemo on 09/30/2013 and we are praying the tumor responds to the treatment. Because Nadia’s cancer is rare, there are no case studies on what types of chemo meds will shrink the tumor so we are praying the tumor will show shrinkage within the first two weeks. We are waiting patiently for the results. Learn more about Nadia’s story.
Submitted By: Robyn B.
Nominee: Debbie H. of South Carolina
I am nominating my Aunt Debbie. On the heels of the death of my grandparents (her parents) my Aunt was the third of my aunts to be diagnosed with breast cancer. When they found it, she was in one of the final stages. The treatment was immediate and aggressive. As a single woman who was recently divorced and had been seeking employment in a tight job market for over a year, she was determined to not miss a day of work at her new job. She was too afraid of being laid off. My Aunt worked every day and prayed everyday for strength to overcome her side effects to get up every day and put on a smile. As a single parent, her two sons had the responsibility of making a tough decision that resulted in an unplanned mastectomy while they were attempting to remove a lump. She never, ever showed grief. My Aunt has always been the sunshine in our family. She was blessed with a beautiful voice and never said no to a request to sing at any of the family or friend’s weddings or funerals. I watched her sing at my grandmother’s funeral, full of her pain and in a wig to cover her recent hair loss due to her treatments, smiling and showing nothing but love and complete surrender to faith. She is my role model for faith, strength and love.
Submitted By: Cindy V.
Nominee: Sandra J. of Nevada
Sandra is my oldest sister who is fighting her third battle of BC. She was 15 years clear and then in ‘04, it came back. This year, she had a mastectomy and is now waiting on test results. I myself am an 8-year, 10/13 survivor as well. She lives in Nevada and I think it would boost her spirits to receive a beautiful, fragrant lei, which she misses so much. I can’t visit her right now due to finances, but I sure miss her. Thank you for considering her as a recipient and for doing what you are doing for BC awareness. Bless you!
Submitted By: Leslie C.
Nominee: Barbara F. of California
My friend, Barbara, has been a school librarian for 3 decades. Her interest in exposing young people to a love of learning and appreciation for education has touched many. She is a breast cancer survivor of 17 years who was again challenged last year when the cancer returned. She is facing this challenge and treatment with a great positive attitude.
Aloha Island Lei would also like to recognize these courageous women:
Joy Sue J.