Stephanie is a small town girl with big dreams. Two days before her 28th birthday, she had a long to-do list of things to buy and food to prepare for her party, as well as a reminder for a “doctor’s appointment” scribbled at the bottom of the page.
But destiny had other plans for her birthday party. At the doctor’s for her regular check-up that day, she heard the most unpleasant words anyone would ever want to hear, “You have breast cancer”.
Stephanie’s life and all her dreams were abruptly interrupted and shattered by the harsh reality of the tumour in her breast. “I was in shock, tears rolled down my cheek. I was numb. It felt like someone had turned off a switch in my brain. I was physically unable to process anything the doctor said after that.”
Cancer is scary enough and it becomes more frightening when it’s your diagnosis. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer, with 1 in 8 women at risk of being diagnosed according to numerous studies. If detected at an early stage, positive outcomes are much better.
Stephanie was in the 3rd stage of breast cancer, medically termed as 3B. “I refused to accept defeat. I wanted to live, I was only 28 and I had my whole life ahead of me. The idea life being snatched away from life at such a young age terrified me. I was in a very bad place after that.”
But, she was remained determined and faced her illness head-on with a positive attitude. She started her treatments, medications and everything necessary to keep her strong on the battlefield. Stephanie travelled 5-6 hours a day to Sudbury for her chemotherapy and radiation. The visits to the hospital were seemingly endless and soon she became too sick to work. “During my treatments, it was physically impossible for me to travel so much so I rented a small room next to the hospital. This was one more cost in a long list of my expenses.” The weakness and exhausting visits for these treatments eventually cost her, her only job that paid all the bills. With her regular income gone, her savings and government benefits soon vanished too. She needed money to pay for her travel and stay for the course of her treatments. Her family did everything they could to support Stephanie and that’s when Stephanie’s sister Jennifer discovered the Breast Cancer Support Fund (BCSF) Jennifer explained who BCSF was and what they do and helped me filled out the application”.
After reviewing Stephanie’s situation, BCSF provided financial support. “I was ecstatic; I was now a fearless fighter determined to win.” Stephanie was given three separate grants over six months for her treatment. “I still remember the day I walked to the post office and I saw the first cheque from BCSF. I was speechless and weak in my knees. I was so happy I started crying. I am very grateful to BCSF for saving my life. Today, I am now cancer free for over two years and I thank my family, friends and everyone who supported me in my bad times. I would strongly urge every woman to never give up hope and support the Breast Cancer Support Fund – with your time or money. You will be making a huge impact on someone’s life.”