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By November 14, 2023November 21st, 2023No Comments

BARBARA IS NO STRANGER to cancer; she and several members of her family have battled a diagnosis. It began seventeen years ago with the diagnosis of her mother. Two years later her mother-in-law was diagnosed. Over the following years, her father and father-in-law received diagnoses as well; as did her brother-in-law. Her own diagnosis came next. Barbara was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer seven years ago. While receiving treatment at a local cancer center, Melanie, the oncology masseuse from the Cancer Survivorship Center, offered to massage Barbara’s hands. Melanie told Barbara about the Survivorship Center and invited her to visit. Barbara mentioned that she hoped to become a survivor one day, but Melanie assured Barbara that “from the day you’re diagnosed, you’re already a survivor.” 

Barbara decided to visit, and over time, she tried many of the activities and classes that are offered at the Cancer Survivorship Center. She says, “They became our cheerleaders and our hope. The financial assistance is outstanding – but it’s beyond that.”

She had been attending the Center for two years when she got the call that her daughter, Julia, had received a diagnosis. This was the most difficult diagnosis yet. When she heard the news, Barbara knew she wanted Julia to benefit from the Cancer Survivorship Center as well. Throughout Julia’s battle, your gifts provided gas cards and hotel stays for her and her family while she received treatments at MD Anderson. At the end of her journey, your gifts provided a pain-relieving mattress that allowed her small children to climb into bed with her to be near without moving her around causing added pain. Julia’s battle with cancer ended one year ago.

Today, Barbara continues to utilize many of the free resources offered at the Center. Not only does she come to classes and activities, but she honors her beloved daughter by being a champion for all survivors.

Barbara can always be counted on for a kind word of encouragement or to share her story of strength and resilience with others. Barbara also supports the mission of the Center by being involved in many of the annual events like the Our Colors Run Together 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. Our Colors allows people from the community to come together to Celebrate, Remember, and Honor those affected by a cancer diagnosis. This year Barbara served as the 2023 Race Honorary Chair.

Barbara is grateful for people like you who give to HCHF and the Cancer Survivorship Center. You are truly making a difference.

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