This past weekend I had the honor of standing alongside 14 other women to celebrate, cry and laugh about our breast cancer stories. The 15 of us were selected to be the 2016 Ford Models of Courage Denver.
“This year, Ford Warriors in Pink is showing its dedication to everyone touched by breast cancer by creating an army of warriors in select cities across the country. They’re called Models of Courage (MOCs). And they are patients, survivors, thrivers and co-survivors ready to help us empower those currently in the fight. Not only will our MOCs help raise awareness and funds for the cause, they’ll also help bring good days to those in the breast cancer community. Since bad days are all too common for patients, survivors and caregivers alike, it’s more important than ever to create better ones. And the more MOCs we bring together, the more good days we can give.
We spent the weekend at the Ritz Carlton, connecting, laughing, drinking wine and sharing about how we as a collective group of survivors can give more good days to others battling breast cancer. As you could have guessed I was the youngest in the group by 14 years. I will be honest I was not sure how the weekend would go, would I feel out of place? Would I feel like my story was so different compared to theirs?
Lucky for me I was wrong.
After a weekend spending time with each of them, I learned that breast cancer is the great equalizer. All of sudden sitting amongst women who could be my mother or grandmother we shared one common theme. We fought the same fight. We all had breast cancer and in turn we became different women.
I am not sure why I was so surprised by this but we cry over so many of the same things. We break out into sweats. We start undressing as the next hot flash occurs. We struggle with talking about it or sometimes talking too much about it. We discuss our scars, our nipple-less breasts, how we lost our hair, how we shaved it when we did and what we are most afraid of in the future. I was so honored to laugh, cry and share with them. But most of all grateful for how they accepted me as a friend. As a fellow survivor.
I look forward to sharing more of what our year will look like as we seek to educate, encourage and support the fight against Breast Cancer through Ford Motor Company’s Warriors in Pink. I did ask for a Pink Mustang 🙂 sadly that is not one of the perks.
My encouragement to you is never let age keep you from connecting with others around you. Accept age as a number and seek to connect with those younger and older. You never know what you could give to someone else? You never may know how much you have in common? Step out and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. These women, while yes for many of them I could be their daughter…… are now a new circle of friends and I am grateful.
For more information on Ford Warriors in Pink and how you can get involved click here: www.warriorsinpink.ford.com
See some of my favorite pictures from the weekend below!