Tammy wakes up every morning feeling incredibly grateful. As a breast cancer survivor, she understands the fear of dying and the terrifying possibility of not getting to spend all the time she had hoped and dreamed of with her loved ones. Today, thanks to donor investment in cancer care, she is cancer free and leading a beautiful and full life.
Tammy’s journey with cancer began in 2014 when she was just 44 years old and a lump on her shoulder prompted her to make an appointment with her doctor. A physically active and overall healthy person, with no history of cancer in her family, Tammy, her husband, and their two teenage children were shocked and devastated when she received a breast cancer diagnosis. It felt like life had stopped.
The treatment she underwent for the next year was extremely difficult both physically and emotionally – surgery, followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and 35 rounds of radiation. She reports that the care she received from her oncology team at CancerCare Manitoba was exceptional in every way. However, it was CCMB’s emotional support programs, available thanks to the generosity of donors like you, she feels played just as significant a role in her overall healing and survival.
“When I was diagnosed, we sat down as a family and decided we would go through this journey together and we would take advantage of every support program offered to help us get through and heal once it was over,” Tammy said.
They took counselling sessions, she participated in many wellness classes and joined a support group for young women with breast cancer. It’s because of these donor-funded support networks that Tammy was able to face her post-cancer life with positivity and intentional gratitude.
It’s thanks to the selfless commitment of donors that support programs are available, not just to Manitobans on a cancer journey, but also for their loved ones.
Today, Tammy is dedicated to giving back to other women affected by cancer through mentorship, advocacy, sharing her story, and leading the Chemo Savvy dragon boat team – a group of nearly 100 breast cancer survivors committed to supporting each other and leading healthy lifestyles.
“If I hadn’t taken part in the emotional support programs offered thanks to donor support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d still be dealing with the trauma of my cancer diagnosis and not living my life to the fullest.”