Grant Recipient: Hillary

I look forward to the day when I can repay the generosity and incredible kindness that has been shown to me throughout my cancer journey.

Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer

Treatment: Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy

Grant used for: Rent Payment

Hillary Discovers a Lump…and Loses Her Job

“I liked being able to pay my own bills and buy my own food,” Hillary told us in her grant application. Just a year ago, the 37-year-old was working as a paralegal and enjoying life. Then one day, she found a lump on her breast. The next month included time off for two mammograms and an ultrasound…and then her employer let her go.

As the news that she had lost her job was just settling in, Hillary received another terrible blow. The results of her biopsy came back. She had breast cancer.

Hillary’s World Turns Upside Down

A year after her cancer diagnosis, Hillary’s life is a parody of the freedom, health, and financial stability she once enjoyed. She had to fight for months to gather the money to start her chemotherapy treatments. Hillary was so determined to get a new job that she went to job interviews even after she lost all of her hair!

The Money Runs Out

Despite her best efforts, Hillary couldn’t didn’t get a job, and eventually her unemployment benefits ran out. Now the motivated, fiercely independent woman found herself completely reliant on the charity of others. Her family stepped in, and a GoFundMe page her sister set up has helped her barely keep ahead of her bills. In her grant application, Hillary explained how she has had to make partial payments on her rent with the money she can cobble together each week.

More Bad Health News

Recently, Hillary underwent a lumpectomy. She was so hopeful that she would be able to start radiation therapy after the surgery that she continued applying for jobs and scheduled two interviews. Unfortunately, her cancer had other plans. The doctors discovered that Hillary’s cancer had spread, and they will now need to perform a second, more extensive surgery. In spite of everything, Hillary still manages to face her situation with a positive attitude. “It’s very disappointing to know that my treatment is still far from over,” she wrote, “but I am one of the lucky ones.”

A Helping Hand to a Deserving Person

Here at SOPFCA, we are so impressed with Hillary’s courageous spirit and her fierce motivation to get back on her feet. We are thrilled to be able to give her a grant with the help from our partners at SITE SoCal. Since Hillary told us that she struggled to pay her rent each month, our grant went toward covering that bill for her.

“Accepting help is hard,” Hillary admitted in a letter to us, “but I am incredibly and unspeakably grateful.” We know that Hillary will never give up and that one day she will be able to fulfill her wish to pay it forward when she is healthy again.