OMAHA, Nebraska – Breast cancer awareness isn’t just something that happens in October for hundreds of women in this community; it’s something that happens all year round.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Project Pink’d held its annual Thanksgiving Care to Share event in person for the first time on Sunday afternoon.
The mission of the organization is to provide emotional and financial support to breast cancer patients and survivors living in the local community.
“A significant number of the women in this room were found to have the condition during the course of their pregnancy, and they were unable to have anyone accompany them to their doctor’s appointments or accompany them while they underwent treatment; instead, they were forced to go through the ordeal completely by themselves. According to Shawn McCarville, who works for Project Pink’d, “just the fact that they took the initiative to sign up for this event and show up is a huge deal.”
The gathering that took place on Sunday offered survivors the opportunity to connect with one another and served as a reminder to be grateful for the simple things in life.
The activity for today is a prompt to be grateful for the less significant things in life as well as an opportunity to connect with others.
“I had tons of friends and family that were there to help me, but there’s something to be said about being supported by another survivor, they understand the journey you’re going through,” says Kelly Konen, a two-time breast cancer survivor. “There’s something to be said about being supported by another survivor, they understand the journey you’re going through,” says Kelly Konen.
After overcoming her initial challenge, she became a Project Pink’d mentor for women who had recently been given a cancer diagnosis. But just a few months after the 10-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, she received a second diagnosis.
“Some of the survivors I had mentored over the years when they were diagnosed were now consulting me, encouraging me, and doing things for me and my family as I was doing it for the second time so I had a giant Project Pink-d army behind me the second time I went through it and I’m so grateful for that,” the woman said. “I had a giant Project Pink-d army behind me the second time I went through it and I’m so grateful for that.”
The event that took place on Sunday was bittersweet as well. It had been a while since the last one, which was held in memory of Cynthia Sturgeon.
Sturgeon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, the same year she created Project Pink’d. She passed away in August of this year, on her 55th birthday.
“I’m one of many that were blessed to have Cynthia in my life as a friend and a mentor, and she’s the one who invited me to the very first Project Pink’d event,” Kelly says. “I’m also one of the people who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age.”
Kelly notes that get-togethers such as today contribute to the continuation of Cynthia’s legacy.
“Cynthia just had that gift of making you want to give back,” said one of her admirers. “She encouraged you to go down deep in your soul and use your experiences to help other people get through those tough times.”
Despite the fact that it’s a club that no one really wants to join, the members are grateful for one another.
“Survivors connecting with other survivors is so powerful, it is strong, it is powerful, and it makes you feel like you can accomplish anything,” says Kelly. “It makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.”
Over two hundred individuals who have survived breast cancer will receive Thanksgiving dinners personally delivered by volunteers as part of the Thanksgiving Care to Share event.
The foundation of the organization is based on the provision of monetary aid to women who are battling the disease, as well as the provision of free services, events, and resources to cancer fighters and survivors at every stage of their respective diagnoses.