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177 percent of goal achieved.

Dr. Tammy Herzog

Goal: $8,500.00
Achieved: $15,045.00

Getting to this fundraising event has been a long winding road. On it there have been many twists and turns, hills and valleys and although life keeps going, it will never be the same. The innocence that was stolen from my best friend and from my mother is nothing they will ever know again. They now look at the world through different eyes and although they may look the same to others and they are still the same loving, caring, exceptional women they have always been, they are different…..the ones who love them are different. Cancer is a scary word when you are talking about "other people" but when it is someone you know, someone you love, you realize how truly helpless you are.

In the three years, I have witnessed one of my best friends Jessica experience the unthinkable.....she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy, radiation, multiple procedures pre-reconstruction and finally her reconstruction. All the while, she has done this with the courage and strength that most people could only dream of. She had to find the strength to accept the news, tell her family and friends, adjust her self image and perhaps, hardest of all, the courage to tell her daughter!

When I thought that we were through the worst of it, my best friend then had to find the strength to diagnose my own mother …. and 2 years ago, my mother had to have the courage to tell me .

Add to this that my best friend's mother, my grandmother, my aunt and several girls my age had also been diagnosed and all of a sudden, the statistic of 1 in 9 women being diagnosed with breast cancer was staring me in the face. The idea that 1 in 9 women will need to find the courage and the boundless drive to beat this terrible disease terrifies me.

They are all healthy, thriving and quite honestly, were among the lucky …. Truth be told, I count myself among the lucky as well because I did not lose them! But in the quietest part of my heart, if I take a minute to breath, I realize the last three years has been so very surreal. It has been a whirlwind and quite honestly, a very rude awakening. I too have been forever changed - some may call it jaded and others may just call it a part of growing up, but I do not look at life the same as I once did.  I seem to hold on to those I love just a little tighter, take an extra moment to stand back and appreciate the wonders of the world around us.

My mother always taught me to never back down, to face my fears, to have faith, to fight and I had a first row seat to watch her do all these things. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, let alone the people I love the most - but here we are anyway. I have realized over the years that there are few things we can control in life, however, we can control how we rally round the ones who have had their innocence stolen, how we conduct ourselves and help give back. I couldn't cure Jessica, I couldn't cure my mother or any of the other women I know….but I can help raise money. I can help raise awareness. I can help find a cure!

They are the true survivors. I am walking for my mother, my best friend and my admiration and respect for all that they have endured and conquered. I am trying to raise money so that, g-d willing one day, no other woman will have to find the immeasurable strength that they have shown. WE NEED TO FIND A CURE!! Please join us for a charitable evening where we can celebrate life. No donation is too small and every little bit takes us one step closer.

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