Surviving Cancer with Their “Sisters”

As part of the promotion for the 10th Annual Pink Ribbon Run, we are focusing on why we do what we do….the women who have breast cancer. We want to end breast cancer, and we want to protect those who have been diagnosed from ever having to deal with a metastasis of the disease. In the meantime, we focus on support and friendships.

Case in point, Adel and Pam. They met at the Beyond Pink TEAM’s quarterly Young Cancer Survivors group. When we asked Adel (right) why she keeps coming to the Pink Ribbon Run, she said “UNITY! We are all in this together!”  Adel’s mantra of “being in this together” is something she practices in life. At Young Cancer Survivors she is the first to welcome a new participant. She is the first to ask their story and give them a hug. She will always have a ready smile for anyone who comes through the door.

adel.pam.2.2015When we asked Adel how she feels about the pink beads that survivors are given to wear at the Pink Ribbon Run to indicate years of living with breast cancer, she said, “I am in AWE when I see someone with that many beads and it gives me HOPE, which I also want to do for others.”  Pam said the beads identify you as being part of a special group. “To me, the survivors of breast cancer are in a sisterhood. When you meet them, they are automatically a friend, someone who has been through hell too and really gets it.  Really gets how cancer changes you and your perspective on life.  It’s a comfort to not be alone in this.”

They both participate in the Pink Ribbon Run in order to make sure that the Beyond Pink TEAM has the funds it needs to support the women and men in our community. In 2015, the Beyond Pink TEAM paid out more than $63,000 in financial grants to help families with medical bills, transportation and living expenses, lymph edema supplies, etc. “I support them because they are an awesome organization that helps people right here in the Cedar Valley,” says Pam. “The money they raise doesn’t disappear into some unknown bank account, but helps people I know, including me.  They helped me pay my medical bills after my surgery, and I am happy to give back any way I can.”

Both Adel and Pam feel that the support they get from the Beyond Pink TEAM is just as valuable. The Young Cancer Survivors group meets quarterly and is open to any women living with any cancer diagnosis. “I love the Young Cancer Survivors Group! We’re all in this great sisterhood and can share stories, problems, cancer side effects, hope, encouragement, understanding and friendship,” says Pam.  “We all have the same thing in common.  That doesn’t happen in very many groups.  I can’t emphasize enough how comforting it is to hang out with people who really get it, and if you’ve never had cancer, you really don’t get it.  Adel agrees. “I love being together and I appreciate all [Beyond Pink TEAM] does for us.  The speakers are great and all the friends are in the same boat.   It has given me a place to re-connect with people who are also going thru this –  It’s a win-win!”

Check back next week for another Saturday Survivor Story. And then make sure to register for the 10th Annual Pink Ribbon Run. Registration opens July 1!

The 10th Annual Pink Ribbon Run is presented by Oakridge Realtors and University of Iowa Community Credit Union. The Survivor Sponsor is Community Auto Group. All breast cancer survivors receive free registration, thanks to the Survivor Sponsor.



Posted in Events, Young Cancer Survivors