In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it's easy to forget the reasons that drive us and the impact we create in our community. As summer fades and Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches, I asked our team to share what fuels their passion for Check for a Lump.
These heartfelt moments serve as a powerful reminder of our shared mission. They're more than stories; they're sparks of inspiration. We hope they touch your heart and ignite your support for Check for a Lump and the breast cancer community.
Here is what they all had to say:
Ashley, Executive Director
“Working with fellow breast cancer survivors, hearing their stories, and helping those in need is such a passion for me. I will forever remember a phone call that I received late one day from a breast cancer survivor. It was after work hours; I was working late and the phone rang. At first, I wasn’t going to pick up so that I could finish what I was doing and get home. However, something told me to answer the phone, so I did. The woman was calling to ask about our Super Survivors Unite event that was being held the next day. ‘I don’t know if I qualify to attend but I was just diagnosed and wanted to see if this could be something for me in the future.’ My response was immediate, I didn’t even have to think about it. I told her that she IS a survivor from that first moment of diagnosis and that she should absolutely come! She started to cry and was so happy that she could join us and find inspiration for the road she was about to walk. She was there the very next day and was able to speak to many other survivors, and I hope, was able to find comfort from all of them. She reminded me that we all need a tribe to support us and if Check for a Lump and our Super Survivors can be a part of that tribe, even better.”
Laura, Director of Programs
"Phone calls with women like Veronica highlight the immense value of our wig program here at Check for a Lump. One evening, Veronica reached out to us when she was at a particularly low point, having just lost her hair that week. She confided in me, expressing how she felt utterly dejected and lacked the confidence to even step out of her own house. She described feeling ugly and like a stranger to herself. Her cancer journey had begun with a double mastectomy, and the visible healing scars were already taking an emotional toll on her, but they were a private struggle. However, the loss of her hair felt so public and impossible to conceal, it had completely overwhelmed her. She didn't want anyone to see her this way; she didn't want to look different. She felt isolated and alone.
Listening to her during that phone call, I remembered my own similar experience, and I couldn't help but empathize with the profound grief for what once was, the sorrow for what currently is, and the fear of what might lie ahead. My heart truly went out to her. I was thankful that I could be there to listen and offer support and hope. I also invited her to connect with others at our Super Survivors Unite events. However, what made me most grateful was that, through Check for a Lump, I could offer her a free wig. A wig that she could choose herself, one that resembled her own hair, and one that could help alleviate her insecurities and restore a sense of normalcy.
Our program is about so much more than just hair, it's about identity and confidence during a time that demands an incredible amount of strength and courage. Check for a Lump is truly making a difference in the fight against breast cancer."
Jess, Director of Development
“I was at one of our free mobile mammogram events, helping women with paperwork and such when a woman came up to me, very timidly. Although we had a bit of a language barrier, I learned she was 57 and had not yet had her first mammogram. Through conversation, she confessed her fear of the scan finding something due to how prolific it is in her family. Her friends had been encouraging her to go, but she couldn’t help having a bad feeling and couldn’t bring herself to make the appointment.
While this fear is completely understandable and may seem logical to most, it actually gave me a sense of relief when I discovered it was fear keeping her from her annual squeeze. You don’t know what you don’t know, and that is what we are here for! I reassured her that 90% of breast cancer is NOT hereditary.
There are no words for the expression on her face, a mix of surprise, relief, and curiosity, maybe. After a few more questions, some paperwork, a 15-minute appointment and many smiles, she had her first mammogram done. I appreciated her thanks, but it wasn’t necessary, I could feel the joy radiating from her! That was all the thanks I needed.”
Nikki, Outreach Coordinator
“Working with breast cancer patients and helping them regain a sense of normalcy has been a profoundly rewarding experience in my life. For nine years I worked at one of our partnered wig shops. I had the privilege of assisting many courageous women in their battles against this formidable disease. One particularly impactful aspect of my work involved helping our wig recipients find and style wigs that made them feel beautiful and confident. Witnessing the transformation in their demeanor as they donned a wig that closely resembled their natural hair was heartwarming. It was a small yet meaningful gesture that allowed them to momentarily escape the physical toll of treatment and embrace a sense of familiarity and self-assurance. These encounters reinforced the importance of empathy, compassion, and the power of seemingly simple acts of kindness in the lives of those facing such a challenging journey.”
Sulien, Bilingual Community Coordinator
“Veronica is one of our clients who inspires me to work at CFAL. She is a Spanish speaking client, a breast cancer survivor, and she was struggling with different issues so she needed to talk to someone about them. We talked and created a plan together with different options from our programs, including getting a free wig, and participating in the Super Survivors Unite and Pink Out 5K this October! She felt so much better after our talk with a sense of support she couldn't find before. I’m glad CFAL has the right help for people in need.”
Inspiring moments like this fuel our passion every day. To ensure that these moments keep coming, we kindly ask for your support. Would you possibly consider contributing to Check for a Lump? Your donation, participation in our Pink Out 5K, hosting an October Campaign Fundraiser, or sponsorship would make a significant difference. Together, we can further our mission in the fight against breast cancer.