Friday, April 8, 2011

Team Tiffers!!!

My wonderful friend, Tiffany, is an inspiration for those who are close to her and to those who hardly know her. Around this time last year, Tiffany found a small lump under her arm near her breast. Being that she was so young (28) and had no risk factors, she assumed it was most-likely a benign cyst so she didn’t worry too much about it. Then the tests came back and she and her husband received the difficult news that she had breast cancer. Tiffany has always been one of the most caring, funny, intelligent and beautiful women I know and these qualities have stood out even more as she treks courageously through this experience. She has had to make many hard decisions and endure difficult treatment, more than she lets most of us know. Through all of this though, Tiffany has been unbelievably strong and has used her positive attitude and unfaltering humor to make the best of the situation-- from hosting a pre-chemo party and a champagne head-shaving get together, to dishing out “chemo-brain” jokes, just to name a few. Watching Tiffany go through this experience with such grace and humor has made me admire her so much and given me a new perspective on what’s important in life. And seeing her fantastic husband, Dave, support her is also incredibly inspiring. Tiffany completed her treatment a few months ago and is looking forward to her life getting back to a new kind of normal.

When people are faced with life obstacles, it seems there is often talk about everything happening for a reason. Although I have a hard time accepting that there is any explanation to why so many wonderful people have to deal with cancer, I do know with great certainty that one good thing that will come out of this is that the breast cancer cause is going to have an amazing new advocate, and people facing the disease, especially those that are diagnosed at a young age, are going to have an amazing new supporter in Tiffany. She is already making an impact in fact-- her sister organized a team to walk in a Susan G. Koman walk for a cure in Chicago and “Team Tiffers” came in 5th place for the largest fundraisers, raising over $10,000! She has also shared her experience at several conferences to help others learn about and cope with breast cancer.

Tiffany is the toughest person I know and is a hero to me and so many people around her. I am really looking forward to participating in the F.A.B. 5K race with her this summer!