Last week, I interviewed another incredible survivor, Suzanne, for my book. I found out about her after my brother-in-law Tim rode in Pelotonia, a 180-mile bike ride to benefit The James Cancer Center at OSU. Suzanne did the 50-mile leg of the ride even though she was still dealing with anemia from treatments, was quite overweight when she started training, and hadn’t been on a bike in more than 20 years.
Suzanne talked about her “Ya Ya Sisterhood” of friends who supported her through an impossible diagnosis, grueling treatments and training for the ride that culminated in a thrilling cross at the finish line.
Single and living alone, her friends were her lifeline. They did things like mow her lawn and get her computer fixed without her even asking. She says of her friend who came to watch her ride, “When I was going to the starting line, my friend looked at me like I was her kindergartner going off to school.”
I am grateful for my own sisterhood Pink Ribbon Girls, a support group for young women with breast cancer. We have been supporting a young, single mother for years as she fights Stage IV breast cancer. Hospice came to help, and we were told last weekend she probably had a couple of days to live. The “girls” and other friends really stepped in, bringing meals, arranging play dates and praying by her bedside. She is still hanging in there, and her family has come together to make sure she is well taken care of. The Hospice nurse said she had never seen any patient who was surrounded by so much love.
Support is, indeed, is powerful stuff.
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