Cancer....what can I say? We have all had to experience some sort of hurt, pain or loss as a result of this horrible disease. However, this does not mean that we roll over and allow it to take one more person we love. It is our responsibility to raise money and awareness so that we can save lives and allow those battling the disease to feel supported and loved within their respective communities. Enter Ann's Place, a beautiful building that provides a safe place for current cancer patients, survivors, and families to access therapy, fitness classes and a variety of other services to make their lives more comfortable while they are going through their most difficult time.
On April 25th 2019, my daughters and I are walking in a fashion show to benefit Ann's Place. We are walking in honor of two very special women, my mother-in-law, Catherine Kane Whitbeck and my best friend Denise Schimenti.
My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. Unfortunately it was a late diagnosis and by the time they found it, she was stage four. However, she fought her disease so bravely and without complaints. Cathy was in remission for almost five years before her cancer returned in her bones. It felt so unfair and cruel for her to have to start another round of chemo and radiation after everything she had already been through. Cathy did not feel sorry for herself, she did not waiver and fought her disease with grace and courage until she lost her battle in 2011. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about her and talk about how much joy she would have garnered from seeing her family grow and evolve.
My dear friend Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2018 at age 40. Luckily, she has been proactive with mammograms since she was 35 because she has family history of breast cancer and they caught the fast growing cancer early. I will never forget the feeling in my stomach or where I was when she told me. It didn’t seem possible that someone so young would have to embark on the most physically and emotionally challenging time while working and raising three young children. Denise tackled her diagnosis, subsequent surgery and most aggressive chemo with courage, dignity and unwavering honesty. Denise has shown me what a true hero looks like. In the face of danger, she did not choose fear. She chose bravery and has been an inspiration to more people than she will ever know.
If you would like to support this wonderful place, please use the link below to make a donation on behalf of the girls and I. The money raised goes directly to Ann’s Place, to help continue to provide cancer support and wellness programs for anyone diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones, free of charge.