In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, B-105 and Klosterman Baking Company—in support of Pink Ribbon Girls—want to recognize the courage and determination it takes to fight this disease. Read on for why these local women, who volunteer or utilize Pink Ribbon Girls’ services, are Pink with a Purpose. And look for Klosterman Pink Loaves at a Kroger near you. No one travels this road alone!
I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer—Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. I heard about PRG through my breast surgeon, Dr. Runk. I utilized meals, house cleaning, and peer support. My favorite meal was the Asian bowl. The house cleaning staff was so friendly, they kept asking “what else can we clean?” My favorite peer support event was at the Marmalade Lily; we got to make our own flower bouquets. It was such a great time!
PRG has been such an awesome resource in my cancer journey. Shortly after my diagnosis when I reached out to them, they were READY to help. I had my meals scheduled to start the day of my surgery and the cleaning started the following week. I couldn’t believe it! So easy, very generous and it gave me peace of mind heading into my surgery that these would be a few less things to worry about. On top of the services they provide, I’ve met some really wonderful ladies through various PRG events! I have so much gratitude for PRG—the services and support they provide are wonderful. I feel so lucky to have this organization in my city. I just wish everyone who travels this journey had a PRG team behind them!
PRG is a nonprofit organization that provides FREE services to those facing breast and gynecological cancers, and they provide them to anyone regardless of age or income. Thank you to all the PRG donors for helping me through my journey. I’m very grateful!
If I could describe PRG in one word: Awesome
I was diagnosed with triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma, and was connected to PRG through a social worker at TriHealth, but several people also suggested PRG. I used the meal delivery and cleaning service while I was undergoing chemotherapy and recovering from surgery (double mastectomy).
I will forever be grateful to the Pink Ribbon Girls. They were incredibly helpful during the hardest time of my life. When you’re going through treatments, it takes a lot out of you, physically and mentally. Pink Ribbon Girls worked with a local company to provide fresh, healthy meals for me and my husband for 12 weeks or so. I was so tired and sick, and my husband (my caretaker) was also exhausted. Not having to think about what we’d have for dinner, making a list, going shopping, and cooking was an enormous help. And the cleaning girls that came and helped when I was too weak or sick to do so was immensely useful as well!
PRG is an incredible group of human beings there to help you in the dark times of a breast cancer diagnosis, and all that comes with it. They understand that you need help and are fortunate enough, through donations and such, to be able to do just that. I was never good at letting people help me, ever, but thankfully PRG changed that for me and I am forever grateful. I don’t know how I could ever repay or thank the PRG donors for the stress you took off of me and my family during a very trying time, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
If I could describe PRG in one word: Supportive
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive breast cancer in 2016. When diagnosed, I was a single mom of 3. I couldn’t stop working, I couldn’t not keep the house in order. Even through treatment, I had to still be a mom.
Throughout it all, there were so many references made to me being a “warrior” or a “fighter,” but I had days I didn’t feel that way. I was sick, I was weak, I was exhausted, definitely not living up to these accolades.
I was introduced to the Pink Ribbon Girls through a good friend. I was lucky to meet people who were like me, people who understood me. I had been dating my (now husband) at the time, and I was terrified by the affect my having cancer would have on our relationship. The interactions we had with PRG also gave him support. The amazing survivor sisters I have made through PRG has given me more than cancer ever took away. I am so honored and blessed to interact with and be a part of something (or a group of such) that works for the GREATER GOOD… I suppose in the end, cancer brought me to a better place. Made me a better person, a better mother, a good wife, and someone who is blessed to be a part of something BIG!
Thank you, PRG!
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cervical Cancer in early 2020. I am now Stage 4. I found PRG by searching on social media. When I was asked to write my story, I was about to go for my PET scan after my first round of treatment, and I was ready to write about how I successfully beat cancer. Fast forward to the deadline of the submission, I emailed PRG that my story no longer applied, as I can’t be considered a survivor anymore—I had just been informed I only had 1-2 years left. The cancer had metastasized to other nodes and my liver.
Since my journey began, at the onset of COVID, when everything was in flux, PRG was there when other resources had shut down. PRG rescued this urban dweller when transport services for treatment to other cities became an issue. PRG nourished and changed up my boring meals with their meal delivery service. As somebody who lives alone during these COVID times, PRG made themselves available if I needed to talk to someone. Most recently, PRG informed me, “Your PRG Family is here for you” in response to my latest grim news.
All I can say is, “Thank you, PRG, for being an angel during my darkest moments. Your support gives me strength and hope for this fight.”
I was 54 when I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2. I had a Lumpectomy and radiation and will do hormone therapy for 5-10 years. I heard about PRG from Siteman Cancer Center.
I received meals, house cleanings and peer support. It feels like PRG has picked me up and held me in a big hug! Having the meals delivered to my door was such a relief, and even the short interactions with some of the people who delivered them lifted my spirits. They were all so kind, asked me how I was doing, and expressed support and care. I’m a single mom with two sons, and I have no other family in town.
The physical help that PRG gave me was wonderful, and even more meaningful for me was the emotional support. I was incredibly touched that a group of people who didn’t even know me was reaching out, caring about me, and helping me feel less alone.
What I’d like people to know about PRG is basically in the last paragraph above, how the people involved helped me feel so cared about and less alone. Going through cancer treatment is emotionally volatile and draining, in addition to being physically painful and difficult. All along the way, I personally have had more trouble dealing with the emotional struggles than the physical ones. So, the care I received from PRG really helped me feel supported enough to keep fighting. I would acknowledge that it is very difficult to ask for help, and it is very important to let people help us when we’re going through a hard time. Not only is it beneficial for the ones who are receiving the help, it also benefits the people who are giving.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Compassion. Care. Support.
I was diagnosed with Stage 2A IDC and DCIS Breast Cancer at the age of 30 and underwent surgery, chemo and radiation.
I heard about Pink Ribbon Girls from a brochure given to me at the Kettering Cancer Center. I was blessed with their delicious meals for myself and my family and house cleaning during treatment, as well as peer support. I continue to participate in survivor gatherings, coffee talks and volunteer whenever I can.
When I was diagnosed, we had only just moved here for my job from Michigan a few months prior, so I had no family or friends in the area and no family history of cancer. Pink Ribbon Girls became my family and helped give me the strength and guidance to navigate the uncharted waters. They made sure I didn’t travel this road alone.
I describe PRG to other people that it is an incredible organization that supports and empowers patients of breast and reproductive cancers and their families by taking the burdens off their shoulders and helping them get through the worst, then continuing to love them through survivorship. If I could thank the donors of PRG, I would say thank you for making the hardest part of my life easier and aiding the battle my family took on with me. To not have to worry about nutritious meals and cleaning lessened the burden that cancer brought and was a priceless gift we will forever be grateful for, and your donations have helped so many women and families in their most challenging times.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Family
I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ in 2020, and I was connected to PRG through the breast cancer navigator at the hospital. I used the meal services PRG provides.
PRG impacted my journey by making life a little bit easier for me during such a difficult time. This is a supportive organization that offers resources that can support you throughout your cancer journey.
Thank you for having such an amazing organization that supported me during such a scary time in my life. Thank you to do the donors for giving back to breast cancer patients in such an unknown time in their lives! The only thing I knew was that PRG would be there!
If I could describe PRG in one word: Amazing
Laura Knoll Price
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Stage 1b, Triple positive. A breast cancer coordinator signed me up for PRG services the day after my diagnosis, then I got a call a day later. A colleague’s sister-in-law is a survivor that also shared PRG with me. I received the meals, and participated in peer support. My favorite meal was the pulled pork and meat lasagna! I met some great ladies at my first coffee talk right before I started chemo. It was great to hear everyone’s story and know I am not alone. My second peer support session was at a wine bar, which is great, as I met others around my age, which is a huge help. Now, I text and chat with these ladies daily and share our own tips and tricks and are there to support each other. I would highly recommend this for anyone going through their journey. Talking, sharing, and laughing together makes it better. Everyone is so supportive and uplifting through this hard time.
PRG has taken away the potential added stress of going through this cancer process alone. Having meals available for me and my family takes away the burden, and I can focus on taking care of myself. This is the time where we need support, less stress, and laughs. PRG provides all of this and more.
PRG is such a supportive organization that provides services to improve your personal cancer journey. I would like to give a HUGE HUG to all PRG donors! You have impacted the lives of cancer fighters and their families and friends, changing their lives for the good. Every meal, every cancer survivor support event, every house cleaning, every ride to treatment, makes a world of difference for someone going through cancer.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Compassionate/Supportive
I was diagnosed with HER2+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma – Breast Cancer. I had heard of Pink Ribbon Girls prior to diagnosis, but there were pamphlets at the Breast Center where I was receiving treatment. I have taken part in the coffee talks (both in-person and virtual) and meals for my family following reconstructive surgery. My daughter loved the mac n’ cheese, my husband ate the breakfast scramble, and I loved the orange chicken. My favorite Peer Support event was hearing Monica Brooks talk about survivorship. As someone who has just finished treatment and is in the in-between between patient and survivor, it helped to hear someone a few years out say that my feelings were justified. It also helped to have someone close to my age talk as well.
Pink Ribbon Girls came in at the most perfect point in my breast cancer journey. I was quickly entering the end of my active treatments and preparing for survivorship. While I felt excited to be there, I also felt lost. The question, “What’s next?” was difficult and emotional to conceptualize. I wanted to connect with individuals my age who walked the path before me. Going to the in-person and virtual coffee talks was life-changing. It showed me there is life after treatment… life after cancer. PRG also provided meals to my family after my first reconstructive surgery, allowing me to heal both physically and emotionally. I would not have gotten through this phase without PRG. Thank you to the incredible donors.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Life-changing.
I received my Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) Stage 2b diagnosis in April 2016. I found my tumor just four short months after a clean mammogram in December 2015. My diagnosis seemed illogical, unbelievable, and surreal—you see, at the time I was a lucky part of a soul sisterhood, one part of a trio of best friends, a three-piece bestie band…you get the picture. As they say, everything happens in threes and a breast cancer diagnosis was no different. Yes, I was the third and final bestie from our trio to receive the news in a four-year span: “You have breast cancer” were words Bonnie heard again in the summer of 2012, that Heather heard in the summer of 2015, and then I heard in the spring of 2016. UNBELIEVABLE! In the true spirit of sisterhoods, we dug in, we supported, we comforted, we cried and we warriored on together! We searched to find the meaning of it all, and took faith in knowing it was a blessing, a silver lining, to have one another. We were Warriors-3!
As I encountered each day with a renewed focus to find the good in everything, to seek out my silver linings, it was during the final phases of my cancer journey, October 2016, when I met Heather Salazar at PRG’s Columbus Ignite. She welcomed me with a kind smile, a warm embrace and the reassuring words, “You got this! We are here for you!” I quickly came to realize the truth behind her words. With weekly PRG meals for my family and impeccable house cleaning services received monthly, PRG was undoubtedly the silver lining I never even knew I was seeking. My unwavering gratitude for Pink Ribbon Girls is truly immeasurable. There is immense strength to be found in the giving and the communal doing good for others, and PRG is a shining example of that. During an arduous cancer battle, PRG is a true silver lining for me.
I heard about PRG from the nurse navigator in my hospital’s breast health center. I was shell shocked from my breast cancer diagnosis, and PRG was a lifesaver. I could relax knowing someone else was in the car with me and could shuttle me to my doctor’s appointments. It was an incredible sense of relief. If I had friends and family close by and available in the daytime, that would’ve been my first choice, but not having that, PRG stepped in and was my surrogate family. They had my back when I was weak, sick and emotionally at my lowest. I can never thank them enough for that.
PRG is this amazing organization that intuitively knows what you need before you know what you need. They’re like a big sister who is going to tell you everything you want to know about the journey ahead and is going to make it all better.
Your work is like the work of angels. You don’t see them while they work, but boy, do you feel truly blessed. Thank you, in the immeasurable ways you helped me and loved me back into being.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Unconditional Love or Sister
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 HER2+ and bone. OhioHealth put me in touch with PRG. Our family used the housekeeping (our favorite), and it was like a mini spring house cleaning every visit. We also did the meal delivery; the meatloaf was the family favorite. I attended one peer support at Easton. It was nice knowing you are never alone. There is always someone to listen, share the ups/downs along the way; not to mention a wealth of information.
PRG is truly a family of sharing and caring. To all the PRG donors, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for helping so many as they begin a new and challenging journey in their life.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Peaceful
I was diagnosed with stage 3b triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. I am brca-1 positive. Jan Middleton, Director of Education/Peer Support, was my connection with the Pink Ribbon Girls. I received the meals, housecleaning, and did one peer support event. The pulled pork may have been my favorite meal, but I really enjoyed the green beans as well! The women from Swept Away who cleaned my home were absolutely amazing. They made sure to get as much clean in the time they had at our home. They got all of the areas that were difficult for me to clean and sanitize. They even brought me flowers at my last scheduled cleaning. They were so caring and compassionate. The connection with these women was fantastic, and the house cleaning was a huge bonus. I was able to attend one in-person group meeting locally for survivors. I plan to get more involved as time and regulations allow.
The support and connections I have made through PRG has been a wonderful light along my journey. The physical assistance has been great, but the emotional support from the community has been the real treasure.
The organization is concerned with assisting those going through the most difficult challenge of their lives. They selflessly give and provide all the support possible. They create a bond with those they help and keep you from feeling alone in your journey by connecting with past survivors and those who are battling alongside you at the time. There is no good way to say thank you and show the gratitude that donors deserve. The PRG and its sponsors allow for support in all fashions that has allowed myself and my family to spend more time focusing on the things that matter. I will be eternally grateful to those who have given to help us through. Their generosity does not go unnoticed!
If I could describe PRG in one word: Altruistic.
I was diagnosed with Her2 Stage 1.2 and needed a lumpectomy. The liaison nurse at the Women’s Center asked me if I was interested in being connected with PRG. I said that would be fine, but I really didn’t comprehend what the organization was about, I thought it was just a support group. About two months later, I received a card from Cory Smallwood (St. Louis Regional Manager). My husband and I knew Cory years ago when she worked for an organization that we volunteered for; we thought she was wonderful (she is). I was so excited, pleased to be connected with her again. In October, 2019, Cory asked me to fill in for a 5-minute speech at a PRG Fundraiser. I expressed my gratitude for the help I had received. Amy, the nurse, was in attendance. She reminded me of my lack of interest in PRG, and there I was giving a testimonial! You never know!
I receive meals for two months as I entered into more frequent chemos. My taste buds were nil, but the Chinese chicken and rice were my favorites—I could taste them. I was able to do without requests for rides, but I appreciated that I could have accessed them, if needed. I did have house cleaning three times, it was helpful, and they were very pleasant. I did not attend peer group. I have friends who have experienced what I was going through and could address my emotional, mental feelings, and then friends who supported me in so many ways—godsends.
It was amazing to me the extent of the services that PRG would provide for me, just by asking! I had no previous knowledge of an organization that was helping so many women in the most vulnerable time of their lives. Cory made a bad day hopeful the first time she reached out to me, and Diane Osbourne had the same effect in our conversations. I was so humbled by the concern, care in their words, and their actions in fulfilling my requests. I truly felt surrounded by love. Having the opportunity to attend the fundraiser, speak to other members or volunteers of PRG was another positive experience. My name for these two ladies, and PRG, God Sends. People who come into my life, unexpected and provide just the right words and actions.
This is an organization that is all about service—supporting, encouraging. They are there to soften the challenge that has been given to a cancer patient—all that patient’s energy is expended getting through the treatment. Any and all support provided as a patient goes through this, means so much. I feel a need to pay it forward in gratitude for the help it was for me. For the donors, just know in providing the financial for PRG to function, you are providing a service to women who are mothers, wives, professional women, and most of them have motored through life, asking of no one, but now they can use some help. It is such a shock to receive this diagnosis, a shock. Any cushion, assistance is so appreciated. Thank you!
If I could describe PRG in one word: Compassion
I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma/BRCA2, after my gynecologist found a lump on my left breast in February 2020. I had a mammogram a week later and they saw something suspicious in my right breast. I had a biopsy on both, the left was benign, and the right one was Ductal Carcinoma. Even though the result was still Breast Cancer, I feel very lucky to have been able to find this out quickly right before Covid-19 happened. I got connected with PRG professionally 4 years ago; I work for the Northern Kentucky’s Athletic Department, and we hosted a Pink Game fundraiser for PRG. I always thought the organization did amazing things for women battling cancer. When I was diagnosed this year, PRG reached out to me and has been a tremendous help. I have utilized the free meals; my favorites are the mac and cheese and the orange chicken. PRG has truly made this journey so much easier. It’s been awesome to see how much they really do help people out, I have connected with some awesome women through this journey who have gone through similar things.
PRG is an amazing organization that helps out with things you usually take for granted. My family and friends have been an awesome support group and would bring me dinner, but it was so nice to have the meals pre-made when family and friends were at work. I did not have to worry about going to the store and planning on making dinners. I can’t thank the donors enough, thank you for giving to PRG and making this process just a little easier for PRG clients.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Amazing
I was diagnosed with stage 2 HER2+/ ER+/PR+ breast cancer in April 2006. I was treated with chemo and had a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction. Dr. Runk (who is amazing by the way) gave me the information to contact PRG, and I have been a member of PRG since that time. In November 2019, I made the decision to have my implants removed and had SGAP (autologous breast reconstruction) at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans. It was a huge surgery with a long recovery; therefore, Jan Middleton contacted me to offer PRG’s services. I felt that we would be fine, and I did not want to take the services from someone else who needed them more. Jan insisted that I allow them to send meals to our home for 8 weeks after I returned home from surgery, and I am beyond blessed that she did this for me. As a nurse, I have such a difficult time accepting help, and she instinctively knew this and took care of us! The meals were an absolute godsend during such a challenging time. We did not have a favorite, as they were all so delicious and just fabulous! I have now started to prepare our vegetables in the same manner because even our boys absolutely loved them!
The care and concern PRG has shown “one of their own” who was way past the initial cancer diagnosis, yet needed help, is simply amazing and inspiring. To the donors, all I can say through my tears as I type is, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” To have delicious and healthy meals sent to your home so that you can recover and not worry about feeding your family is beyond relief and we will be forever grateful. We will continue to pay this blessing forward.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Compassionate
I was diagnosed with stage 1-A ER/PR + HER2 – invasive ductal carcinoma R breast and stage 0 ER/PR + ductal carcinoma in situ R breast (January 6, 2020). While attending my first meeting with my surgeon, the navigator came in and invited me to attend a class with other women that had just been diagnosed as well. It was at that meeting that I was informed about Pink Ribbon Girls.
Through the Pink Ribbon Girls, I received meals for my husband and myself. The first week, my mom was in town to help with my care, and they provided meals for her as well. I did attend a gathering at Panera Bread and met some lovely women sharing openly about their journey. I was scheduled to attend a few other gatherings, but they were cancelled due to Covid-19. I also utilized the cleaning services. It was a relief that with everything going on I did not have to worry about cleaning my home.
PRG set the stage for a smooth transition through my cancer journey. When I contacted PRG, and Diane answered the telephone she was the angel I needed on the other end. She informed me of all the services provided and allowed me to say which ones would be conducive to my needs. She invited me to attend the Panera Bread gathering and even said she would attend so I wouldn’t feel alone. My “Angel.”
It warmed my heart to see women coming together for a common cause helping one another as we trudge this road to recovery. I tell everyone about PRG and how they gave me hope and relieved some of the anxiety I was experiencing. Thank God and PRG for the love and support I have received throughout my journey.
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Love
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and heard about PRG through my physician’s office. I utilized transportation and meals. All were so good, I could not pick a favorite. Using transportation allowed me to get to my appointments on time, and I had good conversations with the drivers. Having PRG meant I did not have to worry about how I was going to get to and from to treatments and the doctors.
If anyone goes through breast or gynecological cancer, I recommend to others to contact PRG, the services were perfect, and they do l they can to help in a time of need. I also would like to thank the donors of PRG so very much!
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Love
Diagnosed with Vulvar Cancer. Heard about PRG through Dr. Reed’s office (Kettering). I used transportation and the meals; my favorite meal was the lasagna. Transportation helped me get to my appointments on time, and I enjoyed the people I road with. If it wasn’t for PRG, I don’t believe I would have made it this far in my journey. I never met Mike, but he seems to be the nicest guy I have ever encountered. I was in a lot of pain with radiation. He always made me feel good.
To the donors, you’re awesome, thank you so much, I would have not gotten through this without them.
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Awesome
Lindy Moorman Wolf
I was diagnosed with Stage IIIA Vulvar Cancer, and I first heard about PRG when I attended the Chemo class at Kettering before beginning radiation treatment. The instructor mentioned that PRG was a support organization for those undergoing treatment for breast or gynecologic cancers. I received the meals early in my treatment and transportation later. My favorite meal was one that had a cherry sauce that would make anything taste delicious! My husband was partial to the cheesy options. I also found anything with a side of green beans a favorite! The main reason I arranged for the meal deliveries was so I wouldn’t have to worry that my husband wasn’t eating properly. I continued to receive the meals after I was put on a restricted diet just for him!
Near the end of my radiation treatments, I was no longer allowed to drive, so PRG was the answer I needed! I was able to arrange rides for most of my remaining treatment days, which was a welcome relief since I don’t have family in my area. An added advantage of the rides was the opportunity to talk with the drivers and realize a kinship with each of them because of her cancer journey or the journey of a loved one. Those few minutes together to and from the hospital were a lifeline since I had little past contact with a cancer warrior! I found the drivers were good sounding boards for my treatment complaints and offered empathy and understanding. I didn’t attend peer support until after | completed all of my treatment and was attempting to return to “life as normal.” I see now that I would have benefitted from attending sooner, but I struggled with the physical effects of treatment that limited my willingness to venture out on my own.
PRG has provided the opportunity to meet with other cancer survivors, which for me removed the isolation I felt after being diagnosed. I have come to know a group of wonderful women—and a few men—who have taken or are taking a cancer journey similar to mine. It is true that “it takes a village” to raise a child, and it takes a village to thrive during and after cancer!
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Lifeline
Vicki S West
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my right side, and the second time it was breast cancer that spread throughout my body. I heard about PRG by a friend of mine; he had a friend that had a double metastatic breast cancer. She told him to have me call PRG, so I did, and when I hung up, I was much happier and relieved. I utilized the meals and transportation. My favorite meal was the orange chicken. The ladies who picked me up always had a smile on their face, they provided great conversation as well.
PRG is an amazing organization. Every person I had dealt with were absolutely amazing, easy to work with and caring. I would like to thank the donors for supporting PRG services, you are helping so many of us who are battling cancer. Thank you!
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Amazing
I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and was referred to PRG through my hospital. I utilized the transportation. I felt very safe and secure during my rides. PRG’s transportation meant I did not have to worry about how I was going to make my appointments.
PRG was very reliable and friendly. I want to thank the donors for helping those who have no one else…keep on helping!
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Dependable
At the age of 37, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. PRG solved so many problems with just one phone call. I had so many people rallying together wanting to put money toward getting my house cleaned while going through chemotherapy. It wasn’t until my mother-in-law asked if I had heard of Pink Ribbon Girls. I looked into it, and it almost felt too good to be true! I could get my house cleaned for free while going through treatment? YES! Utilizing this service gave me time back to heal from chemotherapy and for my husband to take care of me. It also allowed my husband and I to spend more time with our son. It was an amazing feeling to see the philanthropy used toward me.
I have never been so personally touched by the donations of the community like I have through PRG. If I had to describe PRG to others, I would simply say they are a gift to us here in Ohio. I smile with gratitude as I see the PRG’s van driving around knowing that the passengers are in good hands. I’ve made so many lifelong friends through PRG. Thank you to those who have already donated to such an amazing organization. You have truly touched my life and the lives of those around me.
I live in Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO, and I am a gynecological cancer survivor. I am thrilled to now be cancer-free! I had just retired in May of 2019 from 40 years as an accounting specialist for a community college. I was diagnosed with an aggressive endometrial cancer in September at age 64. Surgery, chemotherapy and battling all of the terrible side effects was not how I had envisioned spending my well-earned retirement. I am divorced with 3 children, 8 grandchildren, sisters and sisters-in-law who all rallied around her to create a support system. I also leaned on my faith to get me through the hardest times during my year-long battle.
My family and I loved the PRG meals. Every family member had a favorite meal when they came to stay with me during my treatment. I loved the ease of popping it in the microwave and also appreciated how each meal was nutritionally balanced. At various points in my treatment, I lost my sense of taste. I knew I was getting better when I was able to taste and enjoy the delicious PRG meals.
I am 41 years old and currently receiving treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer. I found a lump during a self-breast check in June and started chemotherapy in July 2020. Originally from Reno, Nevada, I moved to St. Louis several years ago for my job. I am divorced and live with my 9-year old son, Landon, and 2 dogs. I had no family history of breast cancer but lost my father to late-stage colon cancer. I took on cancer just like I take on my workouts. I continued to lift weights, archery, riflery and hunting. I put jiu jitsu on hold for now but recently started taking guitar lessons.
The PRG meals were a lifesaver, especially when balancing homeschooling my son while still working full-time, chemotherapy and awaiting surgery in October. I liked how easy it was to heat a meal up for my son for lunch or dinner. The meals are delicious, and I loved how they are delivered directly to my door.
I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer when I was 18 weeks pregnant. I was only 32. I had no family history of breast cancer. We found out about PRG through our nurse, Jill, and my amazing surgeon (pictured) who is a huge advocate for PRG.
We did use PRG services. I didn’t want to use them at first as we were able to manage very well and were lucky to have friends bring up meals and such. We decided to use some of the services once I had surgery because I wasn’t able to do as much for a few weeks. We used the meal services and the cleaning services for about 6 weeks, both of which were amazing!
I have had so many people tell me they don’t know how I did it. Just being pregnant is hard. Just being diagnosed with cancer is hard. Just having chemo is hard. Yes, this is all true. But I am a firm believer that attitude is everything. My wife and I continued to fight this with an attitude of “What’s next?” Getting through everything kind of became a checklist and we continued to look ahead at what else we could check off the list. I’m not going to say there weren’t hard days, but we would deal with those as they came and then get back on track of getting to what’s next. We refused to let this become our whole life, but instead it’s just now a part of our story.
I was diagnosed with neuroendocrine small cell cervical cancer in April of 2019. In September, I received amazing news that there was no evidence of disease in my body! I did it. I fought and got clear scans. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the end. I encountered some complications from radiation treatment and ended up having another major surgery in November to remove part of my bowel that was damaged. I am now undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the next two months to hopefully fix the rest of the damage. Still today, PRG is there reaching out asking how I am doing. I am grateful.
PRG spoke at one of my women’s retreats at work, and 6 months later I was diagnosed. I remembered Jan Middleton speaking at our retreat, so I reached out for help. We utilized the house cleaning and meal services. Having 3 small children, PRG was there for me when I needed the extra help. Then I could spend the small amount of energy I had on my children instead of worrying about cleaning or making dinner.
When you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, family and friends rally to support you. PRG is an extension of your family and friends. They come with the knowledge and tools to help. Thank you to all who contribute to PRG for allowing fighters to concentrate on themselves and their desire to live. As women, we tend to put ourselves last. PRG provides the support we need to fight and win.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Comforting
I knew about PRG before my diagnosis because my high school did a few fundraisers to benefit PRG. At the time of my diagnosis, one of my chemo nurses gave us a pamphlet and suggested getting in contact with PRG. My mom will still tell you that Mike from PRG’s programming team welcomed us to the family with open arms and made it as seamless of a process as we could have hoped for. The meals provided by PRG were the biggest help to my family! Some days I would have an 8-hour treatment, and my parents would have a full day of work. On these more difficult days, it was such a relief to know that dinner was taken care of by PRG! Aside from the services, just knowing that I had a community to fall back on was absolutely priceless. Even now, 2 years after finishing treatment, I am still in contact with fellow PRG clients!
Getting to experience both sides of PRG (as a client and as an intern), I’ve seen first-hand how much heart is put into everything that PRG does for their clients. The services that PRG offers are extremely influential to their clients who are traveling a difficult and uncertain road. I often brag about PRG to my college friends who are from cities unfamiliar with PRG, and many of them are amazed that such an awesome organization exists! It is truly inspiring the way that PRG is able to make miracles happen.
I’m not sure words can accurately express the amount of gratitude that I have for all of PRG’s donors. When you’re given as scary of a diagnosis as cancer, all you really want to feel is “normal.” I remember every day of treatment thinking that I would do anything to just “go back to normal.” The services that PRG offers lighten the burden that clients feel in efforts to achieve more than just a sense of normalcy, but a sense of empowerment. Thank you, donors, for helping clients like me get through what may feel like small obstacles, but make all the difference in the fight to recovery.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Empowering!!
I was 48 years old in July of 2000 when I was diagnosed with late Stage 2 breast cancer. Mine was part of the 1% of breast cancer cases that occur in men, and for the next year I followed the traditional “slash, poison, and burn” protocols (aka surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation) to treat the disease. Fortunately, I had every advantage during treatment, including excellent health insurance; support from family, church, and friends; paid time off during the worst of the chemotherapy; and finally, a clean bill of health that has lasted for twenty years. Mine is a success story.
I first heard of Pink Ribbon Girls when I read about the group in an article in the Columbus Dispatch two years ago. I’ve never made use of their services, but I’ve been a volunteer for the group for the past two years. I’m retired, and I thought it would be appropriate that I started giving back the same kind of support I had received when I was a patient. I sent an email to Heather Salazar, the director, and offered whatever time and services PRG needed. Since then, I’ve reviewed grant proposals and helped set up the online silent auction at the 2019 Gala. During this year of the pandemic, PRG’s ability to sponsor fundraising activities has been drastically curtailed, so my wife and I made it a point to support PRG financially as best we could.
I really wasn’t expecting this. I became a volunteer for PRG to give support, not receive it. I had hoped to inspire, not be inspired. My wife and I will continue to support PRG as long as we can. I hope I can continue to find ways to encourage and support survivors as they travel this often-difficult journey to recovery. But those times when I might need a little “push,” I know I can look to my fellow travelers to carry me along with them.
My worst nightmare became my new reality on 5/18/2020. I was diagnosed with stage 2b triple positive IDC at 25 years old. I never thought I would have to deal with cancer, especially in my 20s. I do not have any family history of breast cancer, and I tested negative for the gene. It is really weird to hear how sick you are when you don’t feel sick.
Cancer is both mentally and physically exhausting. I am so lucky that I have had the help of PRG through these difficult times. I heard about PRG through my oncologist. As soon as I signed up for PRG services, they contacted me immediately. I did not know at the time how badly I needed them. They connected me with someone around my age with my diagnosis that I could speak to, which was extremely helpful. My mentor answered any and all questions I threw at her and really helped ease my mind. I also signed up for the meal delivery services during my chemotherapy. The meals were beyond delicious and filling. It really helped knowing I would not have to worry about preparing meals when I was feeling my worst. PRG proves that no one fights alone. I am extremely grateful that I have been able to use these services and cannot wait to pay it forward myself in the future. This journey has been devastating. Knowing that there are people and organizations that care about people that they have never met has been truly humbling and means so much.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Understanding
My breast cancer journey started in 2014 when I was misdiagnosed as having a “benign” breast mass (it was malignant), and I unknowingly went untreated for six months as the cancer grew and spread. Half a year later, when I was officially diagnosed (and treated) as having “early stage” breast cancer, that, too, was a misdiagnosis—I was already Stage IV (Metastatic) by then, due to unknowingly not being treated. Fast forward six years later as an MBC thriver who is NED (no evidence of disease), and I am extremely fortunate to still be alive (and thriving!) due to a twist of fate involving many people, and due to the excellent oncology care and precision medicine I receive at my NCCN academic comprehensive cancer center. I am still fighting, still standing, and still tremendously hopeful for the future!
When I was officially diagnosed in early 2015, I was still in nursing school. I lived by myself, and I had no family in the area who could help me, so I turned to the internet. I was searching online for local breast cancer charities who provided various forms of support, and I fortuitously came across PRG!
After my brain surgery, Pink Ribbon Girls helped me enormously, and I cannot be more grateful for their generosity. What I love and appreciate most about PRG is that their donations go back into the community to benefit Survivors, and Metastatic Breast Cancer Thrivers, like myself. After my radiation and craniotomy (which left me with a significant amount of fatigue), PRG stepped in to help. PRG provided me with organic meals, as well as twice a month house cleaning services. I am appreciative beyond measure for their services, and PRG is always included in my daily thoughts of gratitude and love.
I cannot stress enough how much PRG has personally alleviated the burdens I experienced because of metastatic breast cancer. PRG significantly alleviated the overwhelming stress and weight of the financial, emotional, and physical hardships I experienced while having to go through such life-altering circumstances.
If I could describe PRG in one word: Alleviate