Don't let the twinkle in her eye or that beautiful smile fool you. Behind that smile lay a twistedly funny sense of humor, and a ferocious, no nonsense, determination to beat her sworn enemy into oblivion. She was wickedly fierce, a whole lot of stubborn, a bit ornery, and undeniably determined that Metastatic Breast Cancer would not define who she was. Her name was Lisa Sloat. And she was a breast cancer ass kicker to her very last breath.
Lisa was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer in 2012 after successfully beating early stage breast cancer a few years earlier. Her hip had broken while she slept. The cancer returned and metastasized to her bones. She learned that day that she'd have a long journey of treatments and surgeries ahead of her, but that didn't stop Lisa. And it didn't squash her uncanny ability to laugh in cancer's face.
Lisa came into my life in early 2014 when she enrolled into our Road to Resources program. I remember thinking to myself, if I was a beer drinker, she'd be a fun lady to sit and have a beer with. She was gritty and she was tough. Looking back I think that's why she thrived all these years. We shared many late night conversations, long text messages, celebrations, and even a few cries.
But then she got the news a few weeks ago that the last of her treatment options had failed and she should start making her final plans. Those plans included a trip to Disney World with her best friend. She fought tooth and nail to be well for that trip; though her body had other plans for her. Despite a lengthy stay in the hospital, they sent Lisa home on hospice. And you know what she said when she got there.....
I didn't come home on hospice to die. I came home to rest so I COULD FIGHT!"
And fight she did --- until her very last breath last night surrounded by friends and her two fur-babies.
Rest in Peace, Lisa. Your ring says it all.
***Note: The photographer, Lisa Otto, is not the same Lisa in this story.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we're nearly half way through it! I'm always humbled by the number of people who host fundraisers to support For 3 Sisters and the men and women we serve. This month we have quite a few awesome 3rd party fundraisers we wanted to share with you!
And special thanks for those who hosted fundraisers this month that have already finished:
Wife Behind the Fire
Pampered Chef by Marne Tragert
Hoffman Chevrolet Cadillac in Hagerstown, MD is donating $50 to For 3 Sisters for every vehicle sold in the month of October! Here's their information:
Address: 101 S. Edgewood Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
Wine Shop at Home's, Mrs. Heather Sherbert is donating 10% of her October sales to For 3 Sisters. You can order directly on her website here.
Left to Right:
*Milano Rose of Sangiovese- watermelon and strawberry flavors $25.00
*le Cadeau Rose Sparkling- Bubbly Rendevous with orange blossom, raspberry, and watermelon aromas $30.00
*Fact Blush- Sweet Rose Wine- strawberry and raspberry jam flavors $21.00
Avon representative, Kiyaunda Bailey, is donating 40% of your purchase from Avon's Give Hope line to For 3 Sisters! But wait! Avon is donating 20% of the net proceeds of their Pink Hope products to the Avon Foundation too, so your purchase goes twice as far! Click here to browse and make a purchase! Make sure you mention For 3 Sisters!
Pure Romance consultant, Sheila Tempchin, is donating 10% of October's party sales to For 3 Sisters!
If you're interested in hosting a party or are in need of products, contact Sheila at 410-913-5963 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Pure Romance here.
Jessica Joseph, a SeneGence independent distributor, is donating 10% of her October sales to For 3 Sisters! Check her group out here!
When is a garden not a garden? When it's a sanctuary. This weekend friends and family gathered at the home of their friend, Susan, to help turn an overgrown, lackluster flower bed and front porch into a beautiful respite garden full of love.
Susan, a young single mom, was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer just before Thanksgiving last year. Her friend Terri reached out to For 3 Sisters and told us of their upcoming garden day - a day spent to honor Susan and to create a sanctuary in which she could sit and enjoy the beauty, the flowers, the butterflies, and the birds. A place that would bring smiles to her face, peace, comfort, and healing.
As the final planning came together, the garden crew learned they'd only raised 50% of what they needed to complete their project of love. And with that, For 3 Sisters was honored and proud to sponsor the remaining funds needed for Susan's sanctuary!
I asked Marshall, our founder and Pink Fireman, how he felt about being a part of Susan's garden project.
"I think it's great! This garden is a perfect example how a person, who has a friend or loved one affected by breast cancer, can improve the quality of life for their loved one while they're in treatment. "It doesn't always have to be about jumping out of airplanes or going to see the Grand Canyon. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is right in their own front yard."
Susan's garden crew cleared out the old stuff, pressure washed porch furniture and fixtures, spruced up the paint, trimmed bushes on the property, planted new flowers, and put down fresh mulch! And though we had to leave before the final reveal, we captured some "work in progress photos"!
Susan is a beautiful, funny, spirited young woman who is clearly loved by many. It was a wonderful gift to witness the outpouring of love and unconditional support by Susan and Gabby's friends. The laughter and smiles that filled her yard this weekend are sure to help all the beautiful plants and flowers to flourish. Of this I'm sure! #susanstrong
A Tutu is more than a tutu when it makes an impact. Wait, what? What's a tutu you ask?
You know, it's that fabric-y looking thing you wear around your waist --- like a ballerina. Here --- like this:
Okay, okay so not EVERYONE wears a tutu quite like this guy does but that's what makes his tutu so special. Actually, it's what makes HIM and THE TUTU PROJECT so special! Meet Bob Carey, also known as Ballerina Bob, in the breast cancer community.
During a TEDMED talk, Bob shared that he uses self-portraiture as a form of therapy; a way to help him deal with life when it throws him a curve ball. When his beautiful wife, Linda, was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer, Bob took his self-therapy to a new place. That place involved a pink tutu.... and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon....
And a bunch of other really cool and beautiful places....
What started as a means for Bob to cope with his own feelings about Linda's diagnosis, and a means to bring light and laughter into a dark place in Linda's life, quickly turned into a viral sensation and a global phenomenon. Bob and his pink tutu, better known now as The Tutu Project, is a beacon of hope, of light, and inspiration to people across the world looking for that special and powerful little something that reminds them that no matter what lay ahead of them, it's okay to smile and it's okay to laugh - you are not alone.
And that's Linda - the inspiration, the love, the life behind The Tutu Project. She's amazing! Not a day goes by where she isn't doing something amazing within the breast cancer community, The Tutu Project, The Carey Foundation, or their photography business, Bob Carey Photography. Linda has been living with Metastatic Breast Cancer and though the disease does not define who she is, she epitomizes the sheer grit and determination it takes to thrive with MBC - and she makes it look effortless.
So why am I telling you all about The Tutu Project and Bob and Linda Carey? Because I'm proud to announce that For 3 Sisters was selected to receive a $15,000 grant from The Tutu Project! We have been partners in the endeavor to improve the quality of life of men and women affected by breast cancer since 2015, and it is because of their generosity, past and present, that our Road to Resources program can continue to grow and flourish, and provide personalized resource case management services and financial support to men and women fighting and surviving breast cancer!
We are honored that The Tutu Project of The Carey Foundation continues to believe in our mission and to invest in our Road to Resources program, allowing us to provide quality, personalized support to the breast cancer community across the United States.
I invite you to check out the Tutu Project and The Carey Foundation for yourselves, and share the love you have for For 3 Sisters with them, as well. Support for them is support for us too. Starting October 1 thru November 3, they are hosting their #Dare2Tutu campaign! Check it out - it's a ton of fun, you can win some great prizes, AND you're raising money to help men and women affected by breast cancer!
Will you #Dare2Tutu?
Shannon Moneymaker is the Executive Director of F3S and experiences life in the breast cancer community, not through just her own eyes but through the eyes of others.
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