• Women We’ve Helped- Rachelle

     Grant Recipient: Rachelle

    I so appreciate any help you can give my family in such a scary and stressful time.

    Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer A

    Treatment: Mastectomy, Chemotherapy, Radiation

    Grant used for:  Housing and Utilities

    A Happy Family… And Then, Breast Cancer

    Rachelle is a positive and vivacious woman who loves being a mother to her “wonderful and wild” five-year-old son as well as a self-employed business owner. The 40-year-old esthetician also recently celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary with her husband.

    Everything was going right in Rachelle’s life. Then, the doctors told her she had breast cancer. In a whirlwind of appointments and tests, she made the decision to undergo a mastectomy with chemotherapy to follow and the possibility of radiation therapy afterwards.

    With so much treatment on the horizon, Rachelle made the difficult decision to close her business, at least temporarily.

    The Loss of Income Is About More Than Money

    Money represents security, but it can also mean independence. Rachelle was always proud of the fact that her work as an esthetician helped her clients improve their skin and brought in extra money for her family. Her income also gave her personal spending money. In deciding to press pause on her business, she lost her personal income and the financial contribution she made to her family.

    As a self-employed business owner, Rachelle also doesn’t qualify for disability income, so the loss of her earnings has put a financial strain on her family, as her husband is now the sole breadwinner. They must find a way to make less money go further.

    Rachelle looks forward to the day she can restart her business, but in the meantime, we at SOPFCA were excited to offer her a grant, which will help cover her housing costs and utility payments. We want Rachelle to focus on getting her treatments so that she can go back into business in the near future.

     

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  • Women We’ve Helped- Tracy

     Grant Recipient: Tracy

    Grant Recipient: Tracy

    I am applying for this grant to keep a roof over my head.

    Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer B

    Treatment: Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery, Hormonal Therapy, and Herceptin infusions

    Grant used for: Rent and auto payment

    A U.S. Navy Veteran Finds a Lump in Her Breast

    Tracy is a U.S. Navy veteran who was making ends meet by providing digital and video marketing to small businesses. In her spare time, she made extra money by driving for Uber and Lyft. It wasn’t a cushy life, but she was making it work. Then she found a lump in her breast, and everything changed.

    A Whirlwind of Appointments and Treatment

    As if receiving a diagnosis of Stage II breast cancer wasn’t bad enough, Tracy also found out that she had type II diabetes. Suddenly, she found herself taking new medications every day with uncomfortable side effects and scheduling endless tests.

    This eventually led to six chemotherapy sessions in combination with Herceptin infusions. Next up is radiation treatment and then hormonal therapy for the next five years. “It is a battle that I surely never expected to fight, but I am doing it,” Tracy writes in her grant application. These aggressive treatments are helping to beat Tracy’s cancer, but they’re also beating up her body.

    Losing Income

    The exhaustion, nausea, and weakness caused by the cancer treatments has made it impossible for Tracy to maintain the energy and focus needed to be an entrepreneur and freelancer. As her medical bills have gone up, her income has dwindled. Now she must rely on financial assistance from her friends and her adult children to pay her bills. Her son, a truck driver, does his best to help by covering a few of her bills each month on his credit card.

    Tracy is currently applying for short-term disability insurance. She wrote to us requesting a grant that could serve as “a necessary bridge to get me through this period of no income so that I can continue focusing on getting well and being able to start earning income again.”

    Tracy Gets a Grant

    At Shades of Pink Foundation California, we appreciate Tracy’s entrepreneurial spirit. With the help of our donors, we were able to provide her with a grant to help cover her rent as she waits for disability payments.

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  • Women We’ve Helped- Donna

     Grant Recipient: Donna

    Grant Recipient: Donna

    Your caring and kindness are priceless to me as I know is true for the many women you help in our time of need.

    Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer B

    Treatment: Chemotherapy, Mastectomy, Hormonal Therapy, and Herceptin infusions

    Grant used for: Utility bills, travel costs, insurance

    Exhausted at Work and Then a House Floods

    For six years, Donna was proud to teach citizenship classes and English as a second language. Then she began to feel more and more tired. When she lost her job, she considered it an opportunity to take a few months to rest and relax before jumping back into the job market. Mother nature had other plans.

    Soon after, Donna’s house was flooded. She spent almost a year living out of a hotel, tangling with her insurance company and contractors as she tried to rebuild. While her physical house had been deeply damaged, her body was also letting her down. She felt more exhausted than ever. When she went to the doctor, she was shocked at the diagnosis. Stage II breast cancer.

    Not Her First Medical Emergency

    Donna has nearly a lifetime of experience overcoming major health challenges. When she was 22, she contracted encephalitis, which left her paralyzed. With focus and determination, she was able to regain about 80% of her mobility. Now, at age 71, she was facing her biggest challenge yet – breast cancer.

    Months of tests and consultations ultimately led to a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and Herceptin infusions. Donna’s muscles grew weaker, and as her body started to break down under all the treatment protocols, she struggled just to walk.

    Amongst all these serious challenges, Donna was also in major financial distress.

    Depressed, Frightened, and Overwhelmed

    In her grant application, Donna told us that she was feeling “weak and depressed, frightened and overwhelmed.” Her financial situation was desperate. Her savings were gone, and Social Security was not enough to cover her expenses. She was charging more and more on her credit cards and falling behind on those payments.

    A New Outlook

    Donna’s story is both heartbreaking and all too common. She worked hard throughout her life, but cancer has stolen away her confidence and financial stability. With the help of our donors, we are grateful for the opportunity to give Donna the helping hand she so clearly deserves.

    After receiving her grant, Donna sent us a beautiful thank you letter and told us, “I went to sleep with a peaceful, grateful feeling. I have a new outlook. I can now take the time to rest and rejuvenate.” Donna, we wish you a speedy recovery and many more peaceful days and nights.

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  • Women We’ve Helped- Lisa

     Grant Recipient: Lisa

    Grant Recipient: Lisa

    It has been a hard adjustment going from trying to add a life to fighting for my own.

    Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer B

    Treatment: Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery

    Grant used for: Housing

    Family Plans Thrown Asunder

    Lisa loves her two-year-old son more than she can say and was excited to start trying for a second child to grow her small family. Her job as a store manager required up to 60 hours of work a week on top of an hour commute each way. It was challenging but satisfying, and Lisa’s husband decided to help the family by leaving his job and working from home so that he could cover more childcare responsibilities.

    It all seemed to be going to plan… and then Lisa was in a bad car accident with a drunk driver. The accident left her shaken and injured, unable to do something as simple and meaningful as carry her son. It was a scary episode, but Lisa’s troubles were just beginning.

    In February of 2017, she learned she had Stage II breast cancer.

    More Doctors Appointments Then I Have Had My Entire Life

    Since her cancer diagnosis, Lisa has undergone a partial mastectomy, had four lymph nodes removed, and received both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Throughout these punishing treatments, Lisa has tried to keep her life as normal as possible.

    “I continue to fight and show my son it doesn’t matter what length your hair is or even if you don’t have any,” she wrote to us in her grant application.

    Despite Lisa’s best efforts, she and her family are struggling. “I have had more doctor appointments than I have had in my entire life,” she wrote to us, “and shed more tears than I knew was possible.” One of Lisa’s big challenges is the financial hardship that cancer has caused.

    Frugal Isn’t Always Enough

    Lisa tells us that “despite having a budget and being frugal, our expenses continue to exceed our income and many expenses are going on credit cards.” Her husband took a big pay cut when he started working for himself, and the couple is still paying off expenses related to the car accident. Lisa’s breast cancer diagnosis has put them on the financial brink.

    Lisa is proof that breast cancer can put even the most careful people into financial jeopardy. Having a good job and sticking to a budget sometimes aren’t enough when cancer enters the picture!

    Helping Lisa Find Her New Normal

    In her grant application, Lisa explained that, “I am still trying to come to terms with my diagnosis and how to find a new normal, but I am grateful for each day I am here to kiss my husband, hug my son, and encourage someone who is newly diagnosed.

    At SOPFCA, we are inspired by Lisa’s bravery and her dedication to her family and to helping other women who have been diagnosed. We are pleased that we were able to help Lisa find her new normal with a SOPFCA grant, and we thank our donors for allowing us to support amazing women like Lisa.

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  • Women We’ve Helped- Teresa

     Grant Recipient: Teresa Grant Recipient: Teresa This helped me so much. Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery Grant used for: Rent One Misunderstanding Away from Financial Destitution A breast cancer diagnosis takes it toll in many ways that most of us can’t imagine unless we or someone close to us has fought that battle. As Teresa ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Leticia

     Grant Recipient: Leticia Grant Recipient: Leticia Diagnosis: Stage IV Breast Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy Grant used for: Housing costs A Trip to the ER Leads to a Shocking Diagnosis When Leticia, known as “Lety,” went to the ER for stomach pains at the end of October in 2016, the last thing she expected was for a CT scan to discover a ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Cristina

     Grant Recipient: Cristina Grant Recipient: Cristina I am afraid I will fall extremely behind and hurt my credit and/or lose my house in the process Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery Grant used for: Housing Costs A Challenging Life Even Before Cancer Before she even discovered a lump beneath her arm, Cristina’s life was far from easy. The middle school ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Rosalina

    Grant Recipient: Rosalina Rosalina is kind, funny, hopeful, optimistic, and has a ‘keep going’ attitude. Diagnosis: Ductal carcinoma Treatment: Radiation, surgery, hormonal Grant used for: Housing costs Used to Pre-Paying Her Bills Before she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, Rosalina was the type of person who would pay her bills as soon as she received them or sometimes even prepay them. ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Teresa

    Grant Recipient: Teresa I want to go back to work and be able to help others Diagnosis: Stage I Breast Cancer and Lymphedema Treatment: Radiation, Surgery, Hormonal Therapy, Physical Therapy for Lymphedema Grant used for: Compression Sleeve, Utilities, Rent, Groceries The Caretaker Becomes Ill Teresa already had her hands full. The 69-year-old took it upon herself to take care of the ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped – Fleur

    Grant Recipient: Fleur I am struggling now to pay the monthly bills Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer Treatment: Surgery Grant used for: Rent, utilities, groceries …First the Mastectomy Fleur is an 84-year-old widowed mother who was struggling just to get by on her limited Social Security income before breast cancer made her life even more difficult. Due to the size ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped-Serenity

      Grant Recipient: Serenity I am eternally grateful and am so glad and blessed to have donors out there helping us who have breast cancer. Diagnosis: Stage IV breast cancer Treatment: Surgery Grant used for: Rent payment and groceries A Single Mom Struggling to Pay Her Bills Serenity received the shock of her life at age 35 when she was diagnosed with stage ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Christiana

      Grant Recipient: Christiana The assistance I received from Shades of Pink California literally kept a roof over my head. Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation Grant used for: Housing   A Breast Cancer Diagnosis…and Then Pneumonia A breast cancer diagnosis is bad enough all on its own, but cancer was only the beginning of Christiana’s health woes. Weakened by ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Lindsey

      Grant Recipient: Lindsey Any little bit helps out in so many ways. Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, reconstruction, hormonal therapy Grant used for: Car payments, groceries Chemotherapy Before 30! Lindsey is a beautiful 29-year-old who was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in March. She continued to work at her job through six courses of chemotherapy. The well-known ... Read more
  • Grant Recipient-Noni

    Grant Recipient: Noni The addition of cancer has caused me to lose my independence Diagnosis: Stage III breast cancer (diagnosed 12/15) Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, reconstruction Grant used for: Auto payment, auto insurance, groceries A Difficult Life, and Then Cancer For Noni, life has long been a struggle. Early into her 20s, Noni was wracked by chronic back pain and ... Read more