There is one thing I never imagined in life…that I would leave my career to become a stay-at-home mom at the age of 50. All my life, I had been considered one of those over-achiever types, a work horse that never stopped. Everything seemed complete with a career and a family. Well my life took a complete detour…not once, but twice when I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2003 and then again with stage three breast cancer in 2009. I remember feeling so lost and alone after my first bout of cancer and wanted to put this ordeal behind me. In 2009, things changed. I felt an outpouring of love and support from my family, friends, and church community. Their support helped me get through some really tough times. I truly believe that their support made a huge difference for me and encouraged me to press on until I crossed the finish line to again become a cancer survivor.
I knew at that moment, that I wanted to help others cross their finish lines, too. Now I live with a purpose in life to serve others. I left my career to live a simple life being a stay-at-home mom and an active volunteer in my community. I am a greeter at my Church, a volunteer with Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, and am involved with the Hope Lodge facility, Reach to Recovery program, and serve as an ACS Days volunteer with the American Cancer Society. Being an ACS days volunteer gives me an opportunity to work closely with cancer patients to find the resources or services they need and deserve. Most of all, it is to give them a sense that they are not alone on this journey and that we are here to cheer them on to the finish line. I am so thankful God gave me the strength to persevere through the toughest challenge of my life to begin a new life, making a difference in this crazy world that we live in.
In Other News:
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is coming up a week from Saturday. If you have not already, sign up for the walk and come play on Oct. 4! Come meet Debbie and our other Portraits of Hope, Lylia, Leimomi, Lucrecia and Vanderla.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a celebration of survivorship an occasion to express hope and our shared determination to make this breast cancer’s last century.
The fight to end breast cancer starts with a single step. Join millions of people in more than 300 communities nationwide and take that step with us at the American Cancer Society Making Strides of Honolulu walk.