2020. I think that is all I have to say for everyone to agree that this year needs no introduction. We are living through a pandemic along with fighting for black lives and readying ourselves for the upcoming election – while all still trying to live our daily lives. The world did not stop turning…therefore we continue living, breathing, loving, and needing to take care of our mental and physical health. These basic life activities seem to be a bit more difficult when there is so much else to be focused on. I don’t know about you, but this year was hard in a whole new way and I believe we have all had to dig ourselves out of dips into depression as we navigate our way through this time. The greatest part is knowing that we will get past it and if we stay positive and keep fighting for what we believe then we will see what is on the other side together.
What I do know for sure is that there is still a ton of good that has happened for many people this year. In the midst of the daily routine challenges, I feel fortunate to keep my feet grounded in my career with big new challenges ahead. I have learned to appreciate my home and life in Nashville in a new way and I have found time to focus on a the little things that may have passed me by before. While I have missed my family and so many friends through a lack of travel, I am grateful for my ‘framily’ in Nashville. One of the best things that 2020 has given me is a new friend – my Breast Friend, Jocelyn Limmer. And that is what I wanted to share with you today – our story and what we are doing to keeping fighting breast cancer. This month of October we are celebrating being survivors, advocates and above all a community of women here to support and fight for each other, our bodies and our health.
Last year I had the honor of hosting an event for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Making Strides Walk here in Nashville. It was amazing (see past blogs) for over 100 guests came together to learn, talk about and raise money and awareness for breast cancer. The focus of our event was young cancer patients – women who are diagnosed before menopause. Through this event and now many other activities I have met the most amazing group of survivors. While the pandemic has kept us from gathering this year, some of us have kept in touch and we will be hosting a Virtual Happy Hour version of this event on Friday, Oct 23rd (full details below!). I am so excited to host this year with Jocelyn as we celebrate friendship through survival.
Surviving the same type of trauma has an indescribable way of bringing people close together. You have something to relate and talk about that not everyone could understand. In saying that, we are fighting against this disease together in the hopes that fewer and fewer women will ever have to endure breast cancer.
For Jocelyn and I, our survival stories crossed paths at the Brunch event last year and then continued to intersect and many other events. We finally got to know each other at the ACS Best Dressed Ball where we wound up at the same table…so we really had no other choice but to get to know each other 😉 Jocelyn’s story is so incredible and unique as she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer when she was 8 week pregnant. She went through her treatment not just fighting for her own life, but fighting for her darling baby Charlotte. Her husband Ted is now a leading advocate for ACS and Jocelyn’s biggest fan. Together this trio has changed my life through their love, passion and true friendship. I am so grateful to have crossed paths with this amazing family and now I am elated to find a way we can spread awareness and raise funds to continue to fight breast cancer together.
You never know when someone will walk into your life and then become a staple in your everyday. The toughest experiences sometimes bring us the greatest opportunities in our relationships and in our ability to give back. This October I am coming up on 3 years cancer free (Dec 13) and nearly 2 years treatment complete. I am grateful for my early detection and diagnosis with great care. I continue to fight for my friends with metastatic breast cancer who will fight this disease for years to come. We are with you and here for you. More research is needed for new treatments for these diagnoses and together we can make a difference.
I invite you to join Jocelyn and I as we gather in the most beautiful space in East Nashville to host our virtual Happy Hour live from the Keep A Breast collection (info below). We will have live music, a discussion with Shaney Jo the founder of Keep A Breast, a raffle of great prizes along with a gift bag for all of our guests. Grab your ticket by donating $30 or more (every additional $10 gets you another raffle ticket!) to Team Breast Friends for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. A link will be sent to your email prior to the event on October 23rd at 6:30pm CST.
Keep A Breast in an amazing foundation celebrating 20 years of educating young women on breast cancer prevention, the importance of self-checks, early detection and empowering women to be their own breast health advocate! This is exactly how I found my own lump and it is so important for young woman to know their bodies. For those of you in Nashville, you can check out the collection through October 31, Open daily 11:-5:30 for Free! I’m honored to be a part of this project and can’t wait for you to see the 87 beautiful breast casts, including mine, and learn all about the @KeepABreast mission!!
Thank you for continuing to support this cause.