In 1992 my mom was 34. She worked full-time at an architectural firm, had a sassy kindergartner (hiii) and an infant, lived in a new city a few hours from her hometown of Cleveland, and liked to don Reebok sneakers with her skirt suits for lunchtime walking seshs. Hello, 1990’s style. It was also that year she discovered she had breast cancer.
I don’t remember a lot from that time, mostly that sometimes my mom was, “tired, or “sick,’ or “couldn’t play.” Now, looking back, it’s really a testimony to my Mom’s strength that I don’t remember much. It’s a testimony to her that my childhood wasn’t drastically altered by her illness.
Retrospectively, I know just how hard it really was and how much was hidden (rightfully so) from me as a child. My mom was strong. My mom had a great family, supportive friends. She had the financial means for support and access to treatment. She had the odds stacked in her favor. And, on all accounts from those I know that lived through that time with her, it was still hard as hell.
Cancer sucks and sometimes you just need help. That is why I’m obsessed with the work that Pink Ribbon Girls (PRG) is doing, and why we are proud to announce them as our first official non-profit partner.
Unfortunately, today, all of us know someone who has been affected by cancer. PRG knows that receiving that diagnosis can be terrifying. It can feel overwhelming. It can feel like there are no answers. It can feel isolating. It can feel like you’re alone.
PRG was founded by a group of breast cancer survivors to help people with breast and gynecological cancers through treatment and survivorship. The PRG founders don’t just talk the talk, they have walked the walk, and that shows in how they do their work. They are not here to talk about cancer, they are here to truly take on cancer, and to fight it alongside their clients every step of the way. They are here to provide support to individuals with breast and gynecological cancers in order to lighten the burden during this time of uncertainty.
When my Mom was diagnosed that first time she lived 3 hours from her nearest family members in a new city, worked full days, and had a husband that worked more. Yes, she had emotional support, but she didn’t have a pal down the street to watch her kids during her treatment, or a helping hand to drop off meals. That extra support would have meant the world.
PRG provides direct support services for clients such as healthy meals, housecleaning, rides to treatment, and peer support absolutely FREE of charge, and with no income requirement. They believe that “no one travels this road alone”, and I think we can all agree that having a strong support system is of the utmost importance when going through tough times.
Not only are these services free, but they are also high quality. The meals provided by PRG are delivered directly to the client’s home, and they are prepared by a chef who focuses on the nutrition that cancer patients require. Which is so important, and so cool. House-cleaning services are provided by professionals, and rides to treatment are provided through PRG transportation specialists.
PRG is able to fund these services through donor support. Monetary donations are put to work for cancer patients and their families, and all donations stay within the community in which they are given. In 2018, PRG provided over 86,000 meals, 2000 house-cleanings, and 4800 rides to treatment.
So, how can you help? For the next two months, a portion of every dollar we make through our Insider Program will go toward supporting PRG. So, sign up if you haven’t already, and check out PRG here. Thank you for your help and support for this important work.