Martha Turner, a twenty-year survivor, shared that the support and love that she received from family, friends, and physicians helped her gain strength and courage to make difficult decisions and move on with her life.
Martha Kaley’s life plan changed direction with her breast cancer diagnosis. Her journey led her to create a non-profit organization to generate funds for biological research to identify a better method to detect breast cancer. She shared a story about Matilda, her guardian angel, who told her "You have been given a chance to be here, now what are you going to do with it?" Martha believes that she was given a gift, clarity of purpose, through her experience with breast cancer. She was given this gift and never looked back.
Margaret Bertrand’s diagnosis impacted her practically, professionally, and spiritually. It forced her to face decisions and financial planning sooner than she expected. Being a solo business owner, single parent and cancer survivor, Margaret is able to contribute to others’ hope by sharing her experiences with diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Margaret’s strong presence of a greater being became undoubtingly recognized and because of this her world became brighter.
Lynn Smith shared that being a survivor of breast cancer has positively and negatively impacted her life. Unfortunately, Lynn, a surgeon, still experiences some chemotherapy side effects which have forced her to shift careers. On the other hand, Lynn’s support system from her family, her children’s school, community, church family, neighbors, and patients undoubtedly guided her through her battle.
Laura Brown is well acquainted with the impact of cancer. In her profession, she’s personally witnessed countless people who have experienced the life-changing impact of a cancer diagnosis. As a breast cancer survivor, Laura proclaims that she’s more aware and compassionate for others and their journeys with cancer.
Kim Kirkman’s diagnosis changed everything about her life. She no longer worries about the simplest things, like making sure the floor is swept every day. However, she does make sure she lives every day like it is her last by never missing the chance to say, “I love you” or not allowing fear to stop her from taking a chance.
Kathryn Gesse’s diagnosis has impacted her life significantly. Kathryn always tries to find the positive when times are tough and appreciates the little things more often. She mentioned that she has had the opportunity to be a resource to friends who have been diagnosed with cancer which is why she has never questioned the reason she was diagnosed.
With two young children, playdates and Play-Doh were part of everyday life for Julie Buie. Her diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer came as quite a surprise, given there was no family history. Fortunately, Julie had the amazing support of family, friends and the knowledge of a rich team of medical providers. Julie shared that she trusted and relied on God and knew that He was with her every step of her journey.
As a single mom of 3 young children and a middle school counselor, it’s clear that Judy Hyman spent her days supporting and caring for others. Diagnosed at 41, it’s hard to imagine the emotions Judy must have endured, especially as a single mom and knowing two of her aunts passed from breast cancer in their 40’s. She took life’s lemons and started making lemonade, just as she’d witnessed her parents do, and was back at school within three weeks of her diagnosis. Judy had several rounds of chemotherapy over the course of eleven months on Friday afternoons so that she had the weekend to recover from nausea and weakness.
Exposing Hope with Judy Bell reveals a philosophical lady with profound thoughts on her journey. She shares, in her words, the elements which depict hope. “Harmony exists with friendship, fellowship, cooperation, and understanding. All of these contribute to being in harmony with myself and others. It also involves getting along with friends and the ability to form new harmonious relationships.”
Janice Rogers shared that she has always been a contributor to finding a cure for breast cancer. After her diagnosis, her drive to find an earlier test became personal. She believes that cancer is such an ugly word, and it robs an individual of who they once were. However it could never take away how a person feels, loves, and praises God.
Jane Matteson shared that her humor and hope very well might have been her “sword and buckler”. She found herself surrounded by family, friends and a community that constantly provided love and support. She recalls so many who embraced her journey from her family, friends, familiar faces at CVS and Harris Teeter. Some of her strongest support came from a very special gentleman, Dr. Gus Magrinat. Jane wholeheartedly expressed that “Dr. Gus was a talisman of hope for all my family and continues to be!” Jane recognized that returning the sense of hope to others who cared for her as well, as those she met along the way, was important.
Exposing Hope captured a moment early in Heather Simmons’ journey of survivorship. She admitted the anxious feelings about the next chapter in her life. Moreover, exposing Heather’s hope comes with a list of thoughts to include hopes that her daughter never gets breast cancer, hopes to live for many years to watch her daughter grow and become a woman, and hopes that her family never has to have anyone else go through the stages of treatment.
From the beginning, Freda Mitchell’s hope was strong belief in her survivorship. As her hope progressed so did she. Freda optimistically shared that breast cancer was truly the hardest experience she has had to over come; however, her cancer was a blessing in disguise. Freda and her body endured the unimaginable, but she learned how to meditate and recognize herself in indescribable ways.
Doris Tanger shared that being a survivor has allowed her to help others with cancer. Doris has and continues to be philanthropic through financially supporting and giving of her time- a most valuable resource. Without a doubt, Doris has fulfilled a life overflowing with hope.
Doris is a forty-seven year survivor.