AMBASSADORS

Hope Lives Ambassadors

Hope Lives invites people who are dealing with breast cancer and either are or have been in active treatment to become ambassadors. As an ambassador, they speak to the community about Hope Lives, share their personal story, and share how Hope Lives services and care have enhanced their lives while going through treatment.

Jody Heatherly

Age of Diagnosis: 60          Stage: 1

“Interrupt Anxiety with Gratitude” has been my mantra this past year and Hope Lives played a big role in reducing my anxiety and replacing it with gratitude through their caring and support.

I found a lump in early March 2018 and luckily had my annual mammogram already scheduled 3 weeks later. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 13th, had a lumpectomy on May 18th and met Jennifer, a 2018 Ambassador, in the surgeon’s waiting room at my post-op visit. She encouraged me to contact Hope Lives and filled me in on Hope Lives’ mission. Jennifer has been an inspiration to me throughout my cancer journey, even graciously volunteering to shave my head following my first chemo treatment, making the traumatic event of losing my hair so much more tolerable and comforting.

I am a Speech Therapist and an adjunct professor at UNC. I was teaching my predominantly female class when I was diagnosed and knew that one of my new missions in life would need to be educating and reminding women about catching cancer early with self breast checks and mammograms. Several of my students and friends went and got mammograms after I shared my story!  

I met with Leah at Hope Lives 5 days after my first chemo treatment. She informed me that Hope Lives was founded on the knowledge that cancer takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally, physically and financially and, so, to be gentle on myself, recognizing that this journey was going to be challenging. Hope Lives has given me the opportunity to take care of myself through the monthly support group and vouchers, allowing me to decompress from the realities of it all. Hope Lives has enabled my journey to be one filled with gratitude!    

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