Empowering Patients Through Support
Posted on September 23, 2015, 3:30 AM
SU2C recently had the privilege of spending time with several cancer survivors and their caretakers to treat them to a day of pampering alongside SU2C supporters Chico’s and Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). The day celebrated health, confidence, and the extraordinary power of women supporting women.
After the festivities, we sat down with Chris Johnson, a breast cancer survivor, to hear about her experience at the event and what being empowered as a patient means to her.
In 2008, life changed drastically for Chris when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, she had come face to face with cancer and needed to find a place where she felt comfortable with the kind of care she was receiving. That’s when she found CTCA. “At CTCA, I felt well taken care of.” Chris said. “Everyone there was really easy to talk to, my doctors explained my options clearly and made me feel like I was in charge of my own treatment plan. They treat the whole patient, not just the cancer.”
“I feel honored that I was selected to attend the Chico’s event with my sister, Sarah, who is also a breast cancer survivor,” said Chris. The sisters spent the day, along with other cancer survivors and caregivers, with a personal stylist selecting clothes from the Chico’s store and having their hair and makeup done. Afterwards, everyone attended a special celebration where they got to visit and show off their new looks. “It was very special for me to have Sarah by my side because after I was diagnosed I felt like I needed to tell all women, especially my sisters, to get their mammograms,” Chris remembered. “When Sarah finally decided to get her mammogram, she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.” Without Chris’ encouragement, things could have been much worse. Today, Chris and Sarah celebrate their survivorship every Thursday by doing something, anything, to celebrate the extra time they have together.
Now a seven-year survivor, Chris continues her close relationship, volunteering with CTCA as a Cancer Fighters® Ambassador, helping other patients cope with their new diagnosis. “To me, being a survivor means getting a second chance…I don’t want to miss an opportunity and I enjoy helping other patients and giving people hope,” Chris said. “When you deal with cancer it’s devastating and until you are going through it, it’s hard to know what it is really like,” she said. Chris credits family, friends and her faith as her biggest support system during her own cancer journey. She also says volunteering has helped to empower her as a survivor. “Being able to help empower other patients by just listening and being supportive has in return also helped me feel good about myself!”
We are so proud to celebrate survivors like Chris, Sarah and the millions of other cancer survivors out there who show their strength and support for one another every day. See more from Chris, Sarah and the other incredible women who participated in the Chico’s event in our video recap below!
In celebration of women everywhere, Chico’s has teamed up with well-known entrepreneur and scarf designer, Sheila Johnson, to launch an exclusive scarf to benefit SU2C. To learn more about how Chico’s supports SU2C, click here.
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