Pink with a Purpose

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!

Angie Keller

I’m Angie Keller, a 43-year-old divorced mom of two kids, Brooke (15) and Landen (12). I was diagnosed with stage 2B, grade 3, hormone positive breast cancer on October 14th, 2014 at 39 years old. The diagnosis was a complete shock since breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. I am the first one to ever be diagnosed. I thought I was too young for breast cancer. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it all as a full-time working mom with no help at home, but I was lucky to have so many wonderful family, friends, and co-workers to help. My kids were only 11 and 8 at that time and needed their mom. I was absolutely terrified!

While in treatment I was introduced to Pink Ribbon Girls and all the wonderful things they had to offer by a close friend who was also a survivor. Not only did I make lifelong friends through their peer support, I also received free house cleanings and free meals for two months. The food was nutritious, made from scratch by an executive chef, packaged in dry ice, and delivered every other Friday. Pink Ribbon Girls are an amazing group of ladies who also happen to be survivors and want nothing more than to help remove the burden of some of the day to day responsibilities while we simply fight. I am grateful to all of them!

Diane Spohr

Diane Spohr is part of the Pink Ribbon Girls Transportation Team. She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 42.

One of the most important things I learned was that my support system was much larger than I could have ever imagined. I am forever grateful to the friends, family and total strangers that made meals, did laundry, planted flowers, drove me to appointments, drove my kids to activities, offered encouragement and prayed for a positive outcome. Whenever I felt discouraged, the kind gestures of the people that surrounded me made me realize that I was a lucky girl.

The PRG’s drivers make sure clients have rides to treatment. In 2017, our drivers provided more than 2,200 rides for our clients. No One Travels This Road Alone.

Jeaunita Olowe

My name is Jeaunita Olowe. I am a mother of three (23, 20 and18), a professional dancer, choreographer and a MultiCultural Dance, Arts Education and Integration Consultant.
I was diagnosed in April 2017 at age 46 with stage 1A (grade 3) invasive ductal triple negative (a rare subtype) of breast cancer.

One of the most important things that I learned during my cancer journey is that I didn’t need to have strength for those around me … just for me! Saying I’m fine, when I really wasn’t, only hurt me, not them. Be honest with yourself, sit down, rest, and ask for help. Accepting help didn’t make me less than a superwoman, just a smart one. I learned who my friends are and made new ones through Pink Ribbon Girls. They are a strong army of amazing friends that you didn’t know you had or needed until they show up with smiles, food, and hugs! The Pink Ribbon Girls delivered meals to me for 8 weeks during my treatments and provided a cleaning service 3 times to help tidy up my house.

Cancer taught me that living is an action word. So, I’M LIVING, DOING, SEEING AND SLAYING WITH A NEW PURPOSE!

Jacqui Roell

At age 47, I found a lump on my left breast the week before Christmas in 2016. While it was initially believed to be very early, it ended up being stage 2B Invasive Lobular with extreme lymph node involvement. I had a double mastectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy, and 5 weeks of radiation. A friend of ours is related to Tracie Martin (one of the founders of Pink Ribbon Girls), so that’s how I found out about PRG. They were amazing! My family and I received the free meals and housekeeping. Friends and family brought meals to us for a while, but cancer can be a really long battle, so the meals were a lifesaver to us. Since they’re frozen, it was nice to pull one out whenever we needed to. The housekeeping was absolutely wonderful. I just had to sit on my couch under my blanket, feeling awful from chemo, and the cleaners just buzzed around making the house spotless for me. The most amazing and unexpected part of PRG for me, though, is the support. I had women who knew exactly what I was going through helping me every step of the way, and they are still helping me. I have made life-long friends thanks to PRG.

Jennifer Fitzpatrick

In July 2017, at the age of 37 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I found my tumor on my own, and it was 7cm. I have had two different rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy and 25 radiations.

I feel so blessed to have been introduced to PRG by a friend. PRG is now my second family and I cherish the relationships that have formed.

I am very lucky to have a great support group, but I did utilize the house cleaning offered by PRG. I used this before my chemo treatments, so my house was clean and germ-free when I got home. It also took a lot off of my husband.

The one thing I stress the most is that it is OK to ask for help. Whether it be PRG or friends and family. If it’s rides, meals, cleaning or support, PRG is there for you. They understand what you are going through. Please ask for help!

Mike Shroder & Patty Stump

Mike Shroder and Patty Stump are not just husband and wife—they are both breast cancer survivors. In 2006, Mike was diagnosed and then a year later his wife, Patty, was diagnosed. After four years, Patty was diagnosed a second time. Today, they are both thriving and cancer free!

They have been supporters of PRG through their business, West Shore Pizza, and they help raise awareness that men do get breast cancer.

“We have decided that it’s important to tell our stories,” said Patty, adding that it is important for people to know that both men and women can get breast cancer and that early detection can lead to a positive outcome.

Greer Coltrane

My name is Greer Coltrane, and I’m an Oncology RN, and Stage 4/Metastatic Thriver! I am an Oncology Healthcare Navigator and Patient Advocate for other men and women who have an ErbB gene mutation. I help them navigate their way through their healthcare options, while educating them about the ErbB family of proteins (specifically HER2), the disease process involved with this oncotype, their drug options, and the latest scientific data regarding clinical trials.

I was originally diagnosed at age 39 with IDC, Stage 2b, Grade 3, HER2+ (hormone negative) breast cancer. Just over two years ago, my cancer progressed to Stage 4, but thanks to my spectacular Oncology team at The James at OSU, I couldn’t be doing better!

Pink Ribbon Girls supported me in my journey when I was first diagnosed by providing rides for me to the local hospital for my surgeries. I lived by myself and had to tackle my cancer diagnosis alone. I had no family in the area to assist me, and PRG’s free services were crucial to helping me get to and from these life-saving procedures. I also took advantage of their house cleaning services, as well as their organic meals, while I was recovering.

The kindness and generosity shown on behalf of Pink Ribbons Girls to local cancer patients in need goes far above and beyond any other charitable organization. The fact that they put their donations back into the community and offer these services free of charge to patients fighting the most difficult battle of their lives speaks volumes of who they are as a company. I am forever grateful to PRG for being there when I needed them the most.

Cindy Haney

In November 2015, I had my first surgery for uterine cancer. In April 2016, I had surgery for breast cancer & radiation. My story with Pink Ribbon Girls is a little different. I found out about PRG shortly after my treatments. I met Jan Middleton at a drug rep dinner. I had no idea this resource was available. I am an RN of 40 years, working in a local hospital. I was not made aware of PRG during my treatments, but I have found it to be a wonderful for continued support and activities. I actually got to be in a fashion show! Something I never dreamed of! There are frequent gatherings, meet-ups, provision of meals, housekeeping, and support! I have shared my newfound knowledge of this wonderful organization with everyone I meet experiencing “women’s” cancers. I cannot express how grateful I am to have found this wonderful organization & would recommend their services. Klosterman has chosen a worthy cause to support!

Lori Falke

I was diagnosed at age 51 with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

The most important thing I learned is that you only have one LIFE —so LIVE it! I like to think that I am living my life to the fullest now and that I am focusing on the things that really matter— faith, family, friends, having fun, and helping others!

I was truly in awe over the outpouring of support and love I received during my battle with cancer. I received so many encouraging phone calls, messages, cards, gifts, and visits from family and friends. Strangers reached out to me to offer help, and I began hearing from old friends that I had not talked to in a long time. I quickly learned that I was lucky to have such a great support system, and that I would not travel this road alone. This, in fact, inspired me to reach out and help others. When I learned that the mission of Pink Ribbon Girls is to ensure that “No One Travels This Road Alone,” I knew I had to get involved with them. I love volunteering with Pink Ribbon Girls because I know that all of the money they raise is going directly back into our own communities right here in Ohio. They are helping our neighbors with meals, house cleaning, transportation to treatment, and peer support. I love giving back, and I have made so many great friends through my volunteering!

Caroline McClurg

My name is Caroline McClurg. I am a Cancer survivor. In 2012 at the age of 43, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. At that time my husband and I had 2 children living at home; they were 13 and 9. We live on the Westside of Cincinnati, but had no family in the area; my husband was self-employed. I was scared and uncertain of my future. I lost my mom when she was only 43 and I was 16 years old. I knew how hard life could be when a mom faces a health challenge…or worse, yet, loses her battle. Through my faith, my family and close friends, and the Pink Ribbon Girls I am now a Breast Cancer Thriver. I know that each day is a special gift to enjoy, regardless of any circumstance.
The Pink Ribbon Girls were quite impactful when I called them. I spoke with Heather S. about my fears and my diagnosis. I felt like I was not alone. They provided meals and cleaning services to my family during my surgeries as I began my journey towards health; both were such a wonderful blessing. But equally important to me was the fact that others cared enough to be there for our family in our time of need. The Pink Ribbon Girls brought HOPE and CARE.

Today I work with the amazing Oak Hills Schools during the GAMES FOR A CAUSE to give back and raise money for the Pink Ribbon Girls. The Oak Hills community is one of the most generous I have ever been a part of. Over 40 raffle baskets, baked goods, t-shirt sales and split the pot, all go to impact more women who need HOPE and CARE.

My husband and I feel privileged to be a part of the Pink Ribbon Girls organization and the opportunity to positively impact many more lives.

Charity Roth

I was diagnosed March 2014 after finding a lump on a breast self-exam. After having a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstruction, I was missing something. After the initial shock, it was time for me to take control of cancer and not let it control me. I feel I have better appreciation for life and definitely am a lot stronger than I was before cancer. My life may not be perfect, but I am definitely blessed to have the opportunity to share my cancer journey.
During my cancer battle we lost income and were struggling to provide for our family. I felt angry, sad, frustrated, scared and anxious. Pink Ribbon Girls helped lessen the burden by providing meals for my family. I tried to find the positive outcomes to having cancer and humor was a coping mechanism for me.

• I am a mother of three children and four if you include my husband
• Not shaving my legs
• Not having to wash and blow dry my hair
• No more haircuts or highlights needed
• Not having to spend all that time styling and curling my hair / just get up and go
• The hot summer was much cooler with no hair

Pink Ribbon Girls is an organization with truly amazing staff, volunteers, survivors and warriors. I love volunteering at the events and sharing what PRG has done for me as well as what they can do for others!

Of all the services provided by Pink Ribbon Girls the PEER SUPPORT has meant so much more to me and has by far exceeded my expectations! I came into this experience hoping to connect with individuals, so we could share life experiences. The hope, strength, courage, love and faith we share with each other is completely amazing. We share discussions on everything, and when I say it, I mean everything. We can laugh, smile, celebrate, and cry together all in one evening.

These women are not just mothers, wives, daughters, grandmothers, and aunts, they are all fighters, warriors, and survivors. More importantly they are my sisters! Pink Ribbon Girls have definitely taught me “No one travels this road alone.”

Linda Simon

In 2004, I was diagnosed at age 48 with Stage II breast cancer. As a single mother of 2 daughters, I was also caring for my mother during my diagnosis and treatment. PRG services didn’t exist at that time but I certainly could have used the help. Luckily, I had a neighbor that took me to appointments! Based on my experience I know how important the services are for families that are battling cancer. I met Jan from PRG a few years ago at the Shamrock Shuffle—I was there to participate in the event and ended up standing at the PRG booth talking to Jan and other survivors the entire morning. I knew this was something I had to be involved in.

Today I volunteer for PRG events all during the year. A few of my favorite events are Shamrock Shuffe, Flying Pig Marathon and Bunco. I have made some really great friends as I have gotten to know other survivors at Coffee Talks and events.

If I could tell someone newly diagnosed something about PRG it would be to know that there will be good days and bad days. Reach out to PRG and allow them help—they are the most welcoming and caring people you will ever meet!

Lisa Bird

I was diagnosed at 45 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. PRG friends were my moral support during this time. I had friends that I could talk to, but it helped to have people who had gone through cancer to help calm my fears. I love the sisterhood and socialization and all the friends I have made. The initiation sucks, but the sisterhood is forever.

Laura Eaton

I found my own lump on a cold Sunday morning in February 2015. I was diagnosed at the age of 37 with DCIS triple positive breast cancer at the Tri Health Mary Jo Cropper Breast Center. I, like many women who think they are invincible and want to control anything we can during this out of control time, didn’t want to ask for help, but I am glad I did. Through the services The Pink Ribbon Girls provided, I was able to have meals delivered and my house cleaned. The weight it took off my shoulders to not worry about cooking or cleaning for family or guests was truly a gift I will never be able to repay. The Pink Ribbon Girls were not a 1-800 number or faceless group that handle all cancers. Most if not all of them have been through it. We had personal conversations, compared notes and helped me talk to someone my age going through the same cancer diagnosis. It is now 3 years later and I still have their emails or cell phone numbers and use them when I need to talk. All it takes is one phone call, event or email to know as a female cancer patient/survivor you have found in the Pink Ribbon Girls organization not a handout but a home.

Lara McKinley

My name is Lara McKinley; I’m from Dayton. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2, ER/PR+, HER- on February 17, 2016. This was 13 days after my 45th birthday. It was a complete shock to me and my family. There is no breast cancer history in my family. It was found during my routine yearly mammogram. I had surgery in April 2016 followed by 33 rounds of radiation. I finished radiation on August 19th, 2016. I kicked cancer’s butt and I am rocking the “Warrior” life! Pink Ribbon Girls also was there with me in my journey. I utilized the food service from Pink Ribbon Girls while I was going through my treatment. The food was great, and I did not have to stress about what to make to eat. I am so thankful and blessed for the lifelong “warrior” friends I have met through Pink Ribbon Girls. It’s nice to have someone to talk to if I need it that has been in my shoes! I love giving back to Pink Ribbon Girls by volunteering when I am available and to let the general public know about a wonderful organization. It’s the least I can do for all they have done for me! No one travels this road alone!!

Amy Beal

On August 29, 2012, age 42, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. In July 2015, my diagnosis changed to stage 4 with a lung met and a primary stage 1 lung cancer. July 2018, a node started growing in my lung. As I write this today, I’m awaiting additional scans and a treatment plan.
Pink Ribbon Girls ROCK! Obviously, priorities and plans change instantly when hearing that diagnosis. Initially, I utilized the meal delivery and house cleaning services, which are awesome! Once the plans were made, receiving the services was seamless—no thought, no preparation, no stress. My family and I truly appreciated everything.

But volunteering at PRG events has been even more impactful for me. I love all the super fun pay-it-forward events. These opportunities provide so much connection and support from other survivors and their families. It’s always a great reminder to appreciate the gift of possibility that each day brings.
They also have an amazing social media presence always supporting clients through positive messages and prayers.

Micky Stewart

“When something bad happens, you have three choices: You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.” This is a quote that humbles me every time I think about my recent battle with breast cancer. My name is Micky Stewart. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 31. I’m a young wife and a mom of two children. At the time, I did not fully understand how I could receive such a horrible diagnosis, but I knew there was a reason bigger than me. During my fight, I used social media to document my journey in hopes to educate, empower, and encourage others. After overcoming 16 rounds of chemo, a port place surgery, a bilateral mastectomy, and a reconstruction surgery I was relieved to find out I was in remission! Every day wasn’t easy, but I was always able to find something to be grateful for. During my journey I came across The Pink Ribbon Girls! I didn’t know much about them but I quickly came to realize how AMAZING this organization is! I have had the honor of attending and participating in several events, educational courses, and fundraisers presented by the Pink Ribbon Girls. PRG has given me the opportunity to meet other women I could relate to as well as give back to the community in meaningful ways. I am thankful for their services and the many opportunities they provide for families every single day! A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, but the PRG are always there to show support. With the PRG, you are never alone!

Angie Squires

I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer at the age of 48 in 2013. My family was previously affected by breast cancer in which an Aunt and Sister lost their battles. Ironically enough, my oldest Sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer—one month prior to my diagnosis. Even with this strong family history, my genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer risk came back negative.

I was blessed that my cancer was detected at an early stage and treatment was effective. I had two lumpectomies performed and a bilateral mammoplasty (breast reduction) in order to remove all cancerous tissue and maintain some symmetry. I then received radiation treatments daily for six weeks to prevent reoccurrence. I will be celebrating five years of being cancer free in November 2018.

I had an amazing team of doctors who walked me through all options and guided me in my decisions. I also had a wonderful support structure from family, friends, co-workers, and Pink Ribbon Girls (PRG). I received meals for my family while in treatment and peer support during treatment and beyond. Long-lasting friendships were developed through PRG and a ‘Sisterhood’ connects us in a special way. I love having the opportunity to give back by volunteering when I can for PRG because of the support they have provided and continue to provide to me after treatment and living my ‘new normal’. Volunteering is very rewarding and we also have fun at the many PRG-sponsored activities throughout the year that help so many. If I could sum up my experience with Pink Ribbon Girls in one sentence: “Don’t be afraid to reach out and accept the help you need and then be a blessing to someone else by paying it forward.” The PRG tagline says it all….”No one travels this road alone.”💗

Hannah Pursley

In 2014, at 25 years old, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It was a very scary time in my life. I went through chemo radiation and several surgeries. Luckily, I was connected with Pink Ribbon Girls and it has played a key role in my attitude through everything. While I was going through treatment Pink Ribbon Girls supported my family in more ways than one. They delivered FREE meals to our home, my house was cleaned at NO COST to me and on top of everything the friendships I have made are PRICELESS. Now that I’m finished with treatment, I remain connected with fellow survivors I’ve met through PRG and continue to volunteer and give back to the organization. The services PRG provides for survivors is simply amazing, I am very blessed that they came into my life.

Kim Kuwatch

I was diagnosed at 54 with Stage I, Breast Cancer in December 2012. I had lumpectomy surgery & 30 radiation treatments. I met my first ‘Pink Ribbon Girl’ in June 2013 and was invited to Coffee Talk the following week. Although I didn’t need the free services PRG provides, I did not realize how much I did need the Peer Support. I found comfort, understanding, love and support at that first Coffee Talk, the tears flowed and released fears that I had been keeping to myself. Fellow survivors shared their own experiences, and I finally realized that I was not alone. At Coffee Talks, there is no judgement made, I can discuss anything with other survivors who ‘get it’ and understand exactly what I am feeling. A medical team treats a ‘Patients’ Cancer’, but PRG Peer Support, helps to treat the ‘Cancer Patient’. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, but I feel blessed that Pink Ribbon Girls was there for me. PRG is my family, my sisters along life’s journey, who believe that ‘No One Travels This Road Alone’. 5 years later, I now consider myself an Ambassador for Pink Ribbon Girls and will continue to volunteer whenever & wherever I can.

Debbie Stoeckel

My original breast cancer diagnosis was stage 1 when I was 8 months pregnant with my second child. I was 32 at the time. Since then, I have had three recurrences, the most recent in the last 2 1/2 years, have been stage 4 and have spread to the lungs, eye and brain.
When I first learned of PRG I was amazed with the organization and the direct services they provided to so many. At first, I felt guilty about accepting their services but over these past 6 month I have realized that I could really use the additional support. I am currently receiving weekly meals and monthly house cleanings, which has really helped me to focus on things that are important such as spending time with my family! I have also been able to attend several peer support get-togethers.
I love everything PRG stands for…the employees truly care about every client they serve. They spend endless hours making sure we are all taken care of. Everyone I’ve met truly loves what they do and I think that starts at the top with their leader, Heather Salazar. I can never thank PRG enough for all they’ve done for me and my family!!

Kim Studer

Diagnosis and Age: Invasive Mucinous Carcinoma, 58

On the day I was diagnosed, I had a friend reach out and ask if I would like to be connected with PRG. I had never heard of PRG…which surprised me because they are a local organization and I have always been a supporter of breast cancer causes.

I attended my first PRG event four days after being diagnosed. It wasn’t only a chance to learn more about PRG and the services they provide but also a chance to meet others that share this journey. Once surgery was scheduled, I signed up for a couple services provided by PRG…meals and house cleaning. Happy to say that the services were cancelled two weeks later. Not because I didn’t appreciate what PRG was providing but because I felt great and thought there were others that could use the services more than I could.

To quote a friend: “It’s a sisterhood that no one wants to be a part of but it’s also a sisterhood of the most incredible, strong and beautiful women who will forever love and support you.” That quote pretty much sums up PRG for me.

Jan Angilella

I was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive breast cancer four months ago. I’m lucky: it was a tiny tumor and it was caught early. An army of friends and family provided constant support throughout the madness. I’m a fitness instructor and my daily workouts kept the crappy side effects of radiation at bay. It was scary as hell but when I found Pink Ribbon Girls, I knew I had found a way to give back and help someone else. When I talked to these survivors and heard their stories, I was in awe of their strength and guts, frankly. Now I’m volunteering with PRG and look forward to making new friends, lending an ear, giving a hug and just being there. Thank you PRG. (photo: taken on the last day of radiation.)

Shawn Egbert

Hi, I am Shawn Egbert. I am married to Darryl and have 3 children, Samantha, Jon and Audrey. I am 51 years old and I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR! In August 2014 I had a routine mammogram with normal results. Just 5 months later, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. That’s when life started moving like I was a race car in a Nascar race. I met with Dr. Calvo, my medical oncologist, who put a treatment plan in place for me. We decided that I needed 6 rounds of chemo, 35 rounds of radiation and 12 months of Herceptin infusions. My cousin told me about Pink Ribbon Girls and urged me to call and get set up with their services. At first, I was hesitant to call to get services. We had plenty of family and friends to help us. But, she urged me to call anyway. I called and got the meals set up to be delivered to our home. Wow, were they delicious! We looked forward to Mondays when the meals were delivered to see what variety of meals were in the box for the week. When my treatment was over, and the meals stopped being delivered, my family was a little sad because Chef Matt and Chef Marshall from Scratch Catering are much better cooks than I am!

As soon as my chemo and radiation treatments were over, my family and I decided to volunteer with Pink Ribbon Girls to give back and thank them for the help they gave us. We planned to help with a few events and move on. We never stopped! More than 2 years later, you can still find us volunteering a couple times a month.

I also take full advantage of the peer support that PRG offers me! I have met so many new friends through the Coffee Talks. I look forward to getting together each month with others who have been on a similar journey where we can just “be honest” about our feelings. We laugh, cry, celebrate and curse cancer. But we do it together. No one travels this road alone!

In January, I was hired by Pink Ribbon Girls and started the most amazing job! I drive clients to their treatment each day. I sit with them in the waiting room. I pray with them if they want me to. I celebrate with them when it is their last day of treatment! It is nice to be able to let them know that I too am a cancer survivor and I understand some of the journey. Each of these ladies has now become a friend of mine. As weird as it sounds, I can’t believe I am so lucky to be a survivor and now a driver for PRG. Who knew 3 years ago how much my life would change with those 3 little words “You have cancer”?

Tami Tenoever

I was diagnosed at 46 with Stage 3 triple positive breast cancer and have been involved with Pink Ribbon Girls for many years.
The most important thing I learned along my cancer journey was the power of keeping a positive attitude and finding that inner strength. As I reflect on my journey, you realize how life can change on a dime and to be grateful daily for all the blessings you have in your life. I’ve learned the importance of family, living a healthy lifestyle and being present more with moments in life.
From day one, we knew we weren’t walking this journey alone. The outpouring of kindness, generosity, love and support from family and friends was amazing. We were also blessed to be introduced to PRG and the wonderful group of women that touch so many lives and families. We received meals, house-cleaning services and peer support. With PRG, family and friends, it allowed me to focus on healing. The silver lining in this, is the people you meet along the way and the genuine goodness, kindness, love and support that is felt from so many that has a lasting effect on your heart.

Maribeth Schindler

Diagnosed in March 2016, with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer at age 48
When I got diagnosed life stopped for a moment. A bunch of “how” and “what’s” went through my head. How will I continue to work, how will I feel after treatments, what will happen after treatment, what is the recovery time for this? So I put my game face on and pushed forward.

A dear friend asked me to contact The Pink Ribbon Girls, I had heard of the organization and supported them in the past. So I called and spoke with Michelle. She went over the services with me, transportation to appointments, meal delivery, house cleaning service and support. There were others out there that needed this more than me so I told her I would contact her once I had my surgery date. Army of one, that was me.

As I started my journey, my mind was set on beating this, as I called it, ASSHAT! After all my treatments, feeling how I did and now knowing what would all be involved with surgery, I called Michelle. Meal service and house cleaning was set up for me. And oh what a blessing it was. I did not have to worry about the grocery, what will I eat, how will I prepare it, it was all ready for me, just pop it the microwave or oven and you have healthy delicious meals, not just for me but for my caregiver too! And the cleaning service was amazing. They dusted, swept, mopped my floors, cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, took out the trash and even asked if I wanted them to fold my laundry when the dryer went off. Living alone, I was so grateful.

Support is also a huge part of PRG. Table Talks, other cancer warriors getting together to forget what we were living and to bond, love and heal. Knowing you have others to talk too that know exactly what you are going through, building friendships, priceless. This army of one is now #thepowerofWE

So now I give back. “In order to move forward, you have to give back.” Volunteering at events, Peer Support, helping others – helps me. Every dime stays local to help others with their journey.
I truly do not know what I would have done without them. I could focus on healing and not the little things. PRG is more than a fantastic organization, it is my family. #IAMPRG

Amber Halstead

Amber Halstead was diagnosed at age 33 with stage 1, triple negative breast cancer. She is also positive for the BRCA1 gene, which she knew about three years prior to her diagnosis.
I have not only kicked cancer’s butt, I was able to do it while also being a single mom to a six-year-old boy. He is the reason I have gone through all of this with a smile on my face! The meals from PRG have been a tremendous help for my son and me. They are super easy and convenient as well as delicious.

The most important thing I have learned during this journey is that I need to let go of things I cannot control. I used to dwell and stress over conversations and situations, to the point I would become physically ill. I would have anxiety and panic attacks. My time is precious and life is too short to waste it consumed with things that shouldn’t matter to me. Love yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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