Monday, September 5, 2011

Hats off to Tina and Pink Petals for Pat!

Hey all!  I hope you have enjoyed your labor day weekend.  I'm loving the cooler weather.  I can actually sit out on my balcony and type my blog out without sweating my rear off.  I'm also looking forward to starting up my half marathon training this week with the morning temps in the 60's!  

I'm kind of behind with my blogging so forgive me for writing about something that happened last weekend. I got the privilege of speaking at a special brunch called "Hats off for the Cure" that is put on by my friend Tina Grimstead-Campbell's non-profit, Pink Petals for Pat.  Tina's sister is Pat.  Pat was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer a few years ago and sadly passed away only 3 months after her diagnosis.  Pink Petals for Pat honors Pat's memory by educating and bringing breast cancer awareness to underserved women in Houston.  It was such a beautiful brunch with about 100 women and men in attendance.  I met so many wonderful, strong breast cancer survivors and also one emotional woman who was diagnosed earlier THAT WEEK!  Again I was so honored to be invited to speak about my breast cancer and my experience living with Stage IV cancer, but I really think that it was more of a learning experience for myself.  It left me even more inspired to get out there and help other cancer patients and to keep pushing for Suites of Hope.  What a legacy for Tina and Pat's love for each other as sisters.  Here are some pictures from the event.

Me and Tina beside a picture of her late sister, Pat.

Me and my new friend, Michelle, who is also a breast cancer survivor and was also a speaker at the event.

Me and my friend, Jasmine!  Educating them at a young age.  Such a big heart for such a little girl!

I also got to attend a Komen networking event a couple of weeks ago.  It was for organizations that were interested in submitting grant proposals to the Komen.  It was really fun meeting so many people that are dedicated to the same cause.  While I was there, someone asked the American Cancer Society representative if they still take donations of slightly used breast prosthesis.  I was excited because I have a really nice, expensive one that I obviously don't need since I had my reconstruction surgeries.  Just so everyone knows, mine is made of really cool gel-like material that is easy to clean and looks brand new.  It cost around $350-$400 and I got it at the cute little store at MD Anderson.  Of course mine was paid for by insurance, but many women aren't so lucky.  I'm really eager to donate it as soon as possible!  But I have to admit, I was a little annoyed when I heard that donated used prosthesis are shipped overseas to other countries.  I asked why, of course.  I was told that women here only want brand new prosthesis...WHAT?!!!!!!  So let me get this straight, women will go to stores or online and buy slightly used purses, clothing, furniture from complete strangers but no thank you to a really nice breast prosthesis?  Especially when insurance won't cover the cost or you don't have insurance and can't afford one?  These women expect someone to buy them brand new ones and are too good for used ones?  I don't know, maybe I grew up on hand-me downs and have a different perspective?  What do you guys think, does that bother you as much as it bothers me?  I'm still gonna donate it... I guess some woman in Honduras or Russia will be really excited!!!


  1. Rachel,
    What a great update. I am always inspired by the great things you are doing in your community to raise awareness and improve the lives of women who received the diagnosis of breast cancer.

    I have a hunch. That there ARE women who would be extremely grateful for a slightly used prosthesis. I just can't believe that all women out there insist on a new one, especially those facing the possibility of none at all. Maybe I'm wrong, but faced with overwhelming circumstances, this seems like it would be a small blessing to someone. Maybe that is just me. Either way, it is great to know that someone will benefit from yours as you continue to enjoy your new "permament" set! :)

  2. To my dear Rachel: You continue to inspire me and others who attended The Girlfriends Brunch. I have gotten a number of calls and facebook postings from so many that were in attendance. I was amazed at the number of men who also benefited from your speech. It was also refreshing to hear from all three speeakers that from diagnosis to treatment, God was the refugee and a ever-present help in the time of overwhelming circumstances. I must admit that prior to the brunch, I had been faced with a decision whether to continue on because I had become so "weary in well doing", but thanks to your "Butterfly free-spirit", your commitment, and your strength to continue on in spite of your circumstances, I have renewed strength, I will run and not be weary knowing that the race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to the one that endureth. Thank you for your strength, but more importantly, thank you for your friendship.

    Hope to see you soon.

    P.S. If you still have the prosthesis, we could definitely use them. Please let me know.