After all at 60 years old, Florene, or Flo to her friends, was doing more than women half her age. At the time, she was a speech pathologist in the public schools, active in her community, President of the Board of the Waianae Coast Mental Health Center, volunteering at the American Cancer Society and moving into a new home.
“I was going to the doctor for my annual breast exam when I heard those three words, ‘You have cancer,’ she says.
Flo initially went numb, and then she thought, “I guess I won’t be living very long.”
That was over 12 years ago, and not only has Flo lived much longer than she first thought, but the cancer hasn’t slowed her down one bit.
Flo dedicates a lof of her time and energy to the Society. “Being a volunteer for the American Cancer Society really helped me.” Flo participates in the Society’s Reach to Recovery program, which pairs survivor volunteers like Flo, with newly diagnosed patients. “It provides cancer patients with answers, support, and most of all, hope,” she says.
Flo was definitely too busy for cancer. But she has never been too busy to give back and reach out to others who are travelling the same journey she once took.