WHAT DOES OCTOBER MEANS TO US?
VOLUME 2: CYNTHIA STURGEON, AN OMAHA SURVIVOR STORY MAKING IMPACT
Q: ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE WHY OCTOBER IS SPECIAL TO YOU.
Q: CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE ABOVE?
A: I love the month of October and all that it brings. The beautiful fall colors, the cool crisp autumn air, pumpkins, ghosts, goblins, candy corn, and of course the monarch butterflies. Personally, October brings a smile to my face and warms my heart for so many reasons but the biggest reason is that it is a month that brings individuals, businesses and organizations together as one community to fight this relentless disease.
When I was originally diagnosed in 2007, I was new to Omaha. I had lived here less than a year and still adjusting to living away from everything and everyone I had known. I was just getting settled and making those annual checkup appointments with new doctors (which felt sort of like a blind date) and wouldn’t you know….THE Diagnosis. I was fortunate to have my husband but I didn’t have my “posse”; the community of friends and extended family that I was a part of for almost 40 years was in Texas. Admittedly, I felt a bit alone, scared, and longing to go “Home” to Texas.
HOWEVER, something magical happened for me when I was diagnosed. People seemed to come from everywhere extending their support, friendship, and love to my husband and I at a time that was difficult. Everywhere we turned, someone was introducing us to someone that could offer insight and guidance. We NEVER had to walk alone in our journey because we had a new community, a new “posse,” that could physically hold my hand when my “Texas Posse” could not. My new community developed and grew into Project Pink’d, a local non-profit that provides breast cancer survivors with the tools, resources and strong network to strengthen and renew their mind, body and spirit.
October reminds me that I am part of something much larger than myself and I am not alone because of the community that shows up every October to support those of us fighting the disease today and the ones that will face the fight tomorrow.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN THIS YEAR? IN THE FUTURE?
A: What I would like to see happen this year is quite simple. I want to wake up every day, with a grateful attitude, a love of life, and the ability to serve. I am not grateful that I got cancer but I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me to help others.
As for the future, that’s a BIG Christmas List! I would like to see progress in survivorship programs and education. Younger women are being diagnosed and programs have not caught up to address needs such as fertility and family planning. In addition, I believe it is key to educate our young women and men on their genetic risks and assist in having genetic testing & education more accessible.
Q: WHAT DO YOU ENVISION FOR PROJECT PINK’D IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS?
A: I envision Project Pink’d serving 4000 survivors/year by 2020 through our programming. We will continue to expand our services focusing on issues that are facing breast cancer survivors. Needs are ever changing creating challenges to health care accessibility, financial resources, and challenges to quality of life.
Read more about Cynthia and what she’s doing on this recent article in Edge Magazine (here) or visit their site (here) to find ways of getting involved and help make a difference.
ONE BEHALF OF ALL OF OUR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS SURVIVORS, SUPPORTERS AND THOSE CURRENTLY FIGHTING, WE PROUDLY SHARE OMAHA’S-OWN, PROJECT PINK’D DONATION SITE (HERE). PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THE CAUSE. HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
DONATE. SHARE. SUPPORT. FIGHT.