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When dressing for church one Sunday, I noticed that my right nipple was bleeding. The following Friday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. The hospital tumor board met the following Monday to inform me that my margins weren't clean--I then had a mastectomy.
Five days later I was admitted to the hospital, very ill with a bacterial and staff infection. When I did wake, my comfort was my husband, Dein, and the crucifix on the wall.
Eleven days later I was discharged, I was still very weak. After gaining strength, Dr. Ali, my plastic surgeon, constructed my breast using the fat and muscle from my stomach, which is called a Tram Flap. My body wouldn't reject itself.
In 2004, I felt the need to 'give back' to that hospital and began volunteering. With the help of Sue Yun, coordinator of breast health services, I began counseling other breast cancer patients.
Three years ago, I decided to 'pay back' the hospital by forming a group of volunteers to help other women in similar circumstances. In 2007 the Pink Ribbon Trailblazers became a non profit 501(c)3. Each year we have a "fun"draiser to enable uninsured women to receive a free mammogram regardless of their age. Our "stroll, walk, 5k run, or 20 mile bike ride" takes place in Oxford, Michigan, on the Polly Ann Trail.
Please look at our website: www.pinkribbontrailblazers.com to see the check presentation to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital's breast program, In two years we have enabled 230 women to receive a free mammogram!
You can purchase 100 Inspiring Stories From The Breast Cancer Site for your Kindle. Makes a great gift too!
Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by GreaterGood.org. With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.