Jo-Marie Gagala - Dancing With The Survivors

by The Pink Fund

I was diagnosed with Stage O/Grade 2 breast cancer on June 7, 2013 (The club one never wants to be a part of, but the best membership I could have gotten).

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from having breast cancer is The extreme importance of a good, healthy diet, a regular exercise program and reducing stress, and of course being aware of one's own body and changes that may occur. I also quickly became aware that BC did not just affect me, but all those who loved and supported me.

Breast cancer awakened me to the fact that fear and trauma are part of everyday life. My diagnosis certainly was traumatic and I feared the emotional and certainly the physical changes that I knew I would be experiencing.   

However, I also realized I was much stronger than I ever imagined I would be in light of such a trauma. I quickly learned through my experience and the unfortunate diagnosis of many friends that it is ok to be concerned about cancer but it would never be ok for me to be controlled by cancer. I believe my diagnosis made me stronger than I ever thought I could be, for myself and for others.

I am dancing for The Pink Fund because I love the mission statement of this great organization, and the partnership with the Ford Cares/Warriors in Pink program, of which I have been blessed to be a part of. The objective of the Models of Courage is to provide "More Good Days" for breast cancer patients and survivors.

What better way to provide that then to be able to remove the stress of everyday financial burdens and all the things that life throws at you while one is trying so hard to focus on getting and feeling better. The Pink Fund helps to provide financial assistance while in treatment to those whose lives have been impacted and if I can help make this possible, I am honored to do what I enjoy and what provides me with comfort and peace.....Music and DANCE.

The Pink Fund provides financial support to help meet basic needs, decrease stress levels, and allow breast cancer patients in active treatment to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes. The Pink Fund’s 90-day grant program allows breast cancer patients to meet their critical expenses for housing, transportation, utilities, and insurance. 

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