Kilah and Her Family Found Hope

“The look on my kids faces were priceless and we remembered what is was to smile and laugh again.”

Our Cancer Journey

In 2016 my journey with breast cancer begun. As many others I found a lump, had a mammogram, and then a biopsy. Through this process I was told by many that I was too young to have cancer as I was only 30 years old. I googled my symptoms and felt confident that it just might be a benign growth. Then on my son’s 2nd birthday on April 25th, 2016 I received the news that I had invasive ductal carcinoma a.k.a breast cancer.

After my initial shock I didn’t have time to process or believe it was real before an explosion of terms were thrown at me.

I had 8 positive nodes and 2 tumors in my left breast. I was told that I had stage 3B breast cancer and due to its aggression I had to start chemo immediately. I went through chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation and currently on endocrine therapy. Through this news I watched my family suffer as they were unsure of my fate and they cried as they watched me lose my hair and get weaker and frail.

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At one of my weekly oncology appointments, my social worker Gloria Nelson came to me and told me of a wonderful opportunity. She told me of a cancer respite foundation by the name of For Pete’s Sake.  I was overjoyed and in awe to know there was such a foundation that believes in giving an opportunity to take a break from cancer. Due to medical bills piling up I did not see a vacation in my future and it seemed as if Cancer consumed my life. Everything seemed to revolve around me just trying to survive cancer. When Gloria talked about filling out the application to send to For Pete’s Sake it made me reflect on how much I really did need a break from cancer. I was stressed with having a cancer diagnosis and I was even more stressed with the financial burden having a cancer diagnosis had put on me and my family.

Our Break From Cancer

“When I received my call from For Pete’s Sake, I jumped for joy and couldn’t believe it. Everyone at For Pete’s Sake has been phenomenal. They have been so warm and welcoming from the very first day. I received the trip of a lifetime, I was going to Florida and Disney World! They sent my kids, my Fiance and myself to the beautiful FPS respite vacation home and were given a rental car to get around and pocket money that enabled us to make this such an enjoyable experience with souvenirs. My family and I did not have to worry about any out of pocket expense. It was important to have my fiance who was my caregiver and my children to have this time away from home to forget about what we were dealing with. We just basked in the moment and had an amazing trip. We received entry to Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios and enjoyed the rides and the beautiful weather.

The look on my kids faces were priceless and we remembered what is was to smile and laugh again. I was well enough on the trip to be able to enjoy every bit of it and it reminded me how far I had come. I celebrated through this trip being able to make lasting memories with my kids and my fiance and it reminded me to be grateful for every day that both feet hit the floor. I did not assume tomorrow would come or that tomorrow was promised and with this respite vacation I was able to cherish each day for what it is. This vacation rejuvenated my soul and re-instilled the belief that I will continue to not only survive but to thrive. I had so many enjoyable moments going on rides and eating good eats and spending family time in the home playing board games.

Using the term survivor to describe myself was one of the hardest things to overcome but with being a survivor I am able to reflect and appreciate life so much more. It is very important that For Pete Sake exists as it changes lives and gives people such an amazing opportunity. Because of donors like yourselves, supporting such an amazing mission it has put smiles on family members faces and warmed many hearts that benefit from what For Pete’s Sake stands for. Through your donations you are helping someones mother, father, brother, sister, friend or partner take a break from their life of dealing with cancer.

Cancer is a very individual experience, however those diagnosed will all meet challenges, successes and failures that have been seen before and will be dealt with in the future but it feels good knowing that there is For Pete’s Sake, that can benefit those who walk the path after us. This is a message of happiness that For Pete’s Sake gives to people. I’m blessed to have been a part of this experience and I would want others to get such an opportunity.”

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Our Stories

Our Travelers take a break from what life with cancer has become with doctor visits, surgery, tests and treatment. Through a unique gift of time together, they create priceless magical, memorable moments, experience immeasurable joy amidst devastating crisis, confront cancer hardships together and find emotional healing, hope and happiness during an uncertain and tumultuous time.

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Give A Break From Cancer

Every donation helps. Give the gift of a a break from cancer by making a monthly or single donation to our program. Learn more about our donation options and other ways you can help.