Welcome to the 19th Annual Sisters’ Journey Calendar unveiling. Thank you to all who have been on this journey with us advocating early detection as a means to saving lives. It was so important to my mother that her community is educated and aware of the horrific disease of breast cancer. And it has been through our dedication and commitment to her vision that we continue to seek new developments and ideas.
This year we are excited to share stories with you not only of 11 courageous women but also, for the first time, a breast cancer survivor’s story from a male perspective. Over the years we have learned that men can also get breast cancer. However, not until now have we found a man brave enough to tell his story – a journey was undertaken in tandem with that of his daughter’s.
The stories of Arnaldo and Vanessa Silva (Below) appear in the calendar months of November and December. They also will be guest speakers at our 2017 Pink Tea. Their story is both touching and inspiring!
Thank you to all our courageous 2018 breast cancer survivors for sharing their stories of hope.
Peace and Blessings
In so many ways my journey has been a blessing. My relationship with God has grown; I found me, I found peace and I’m living. I have a second chance at life and I’m making everyday count.
My mother rallied the troops! Although everyone within my immediate family lived in different states, they all were assigned different tasks regarding my at-home care and attendance to all appointments.
I learned so much through this journey. Most of all I learned that when you give to others with a grateful heart, your blessings will return 10-fold. I love life more than ever and I give God the praise & glory for what He has done and continues to do in my life.
Be kind to everyone, because you never know what they are going through. Sometimes just a kind word will do wonders for a person’s spirit.
I knew then that it was not good. I was going through a divorce and had a 9-month-old infant at home who was just starting to walk. After I had my ugly cry and prayed with my family, friends and church family, we started our journey.
I am here and I am strong. It has been almost three years after my diagnosis. I am free of cancer now.
It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning for my husband and hard to make the right decision regarding whether to remove my breast so I could be here for the girls and to watch them grow as I passed through the worst of my treatment. I thank God every day that I’m still alive to watch them grow.
I must admit that during my recovery, there was healing, tears, rest, joy, pain, anxiousness and some sleeplessness; but amidst all of that was a confidence that, by the grace of God, I would get through this battle… and by the grace of God, I did.
I started having mammograms in my late 20s at the request of my doctor due to another breast-related issue. In May 2006, I went to have my regularly scheduled mammogram. This time things were different. First, the technician told me not to get dressed; then she told me the mammogram was not clear and she needed to take another image.
It has been nearly 10 years, but it seems like it was yesterday. I was a 57-year-old healthy and fit father of four working as a Fireman in a New York City public high school. I remember clearly
when the doctor told me, “You have breast cancer.”
Continued from November…
Just three weeks after learning she had breast cancer, Vanessa was told she and her 29-year-old brother were also BRCA2 positive, as was one of my sisters. Discovering that my son and daughter were also carrying the mutation was devastating for me. My thoughts were, “This is how my children are going to remember me. I’m the dad who passed this on to them.”