I have been incredibly lucky in my life-I have a fantastic family, D is probably the best bf ever (in my opinion, anyways!), Gracie as my ever present helper, and my team won the Super Bowel last year.
There is an old cliche that says when you marry someone, you marry
their entire family. The same is true for dating, D’s family has become a
part of my family. So when we learned that his aunt, JoAnn, had breast
cancer in the spring of 2011, it scared me.
JoAnn is part of the branch of the family that lives in Maine, dubbed
the “Maine Cousins” by D (He’s very creative like that!). She has four
great kids, a smile that lights up a room and an infectious laugh! While
I do not know the full, inside story and I do not wish to post all of
her personals here, I would like to share her journey from my point of
In the spring of 2011, JoAnn was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her
youngest daughter, B, was planning a wedding for the following spring
and JoAnn insisted the plans continue as the doctors stated she would be
well by Christmas. Her older sister had fought and defeated the same
disease in the 1990s, so everyone had hope. It was a long, hard road
ahead of her that she may not have completed on her own.
JoAnn and all her kids visited us in Brooklyn last February. (I say
‘kids’ but some of the cousins are older than me! Think somewhere
between 22-32.) She was sporting a pixie cut-due to chemo
treatments-that looked adorable on her. At dinner, we got to talking
about the last year, and she told me how instrumental her children were,
each with a role they played. One was the goofy kid, who’d always make
her smile. One always had the hopeful outlook. One was the ‘shoulder,’
who’d always listen to her problems. And of course, one was the task
sergeant who made JoAnn go to her treatments when she REALLY did not
want to. Beyond that was the mother’s motivation-she wanted to watch her
kids continue to grow and have kids of their own-and B’s wedding was
right around the corner!
JoAnn’s doctors were right-she was in remission by Christmas! She got
to dance at B’s wedding, with all of her kids. She told me through
tears how she takes these little moments, when everyone is together and
happy, and stores them in her heart. When times get tough or she does
not feel good, she pulls them out and they make her happy. (She’s going
to have many more happy moments in 2013-B is expecting a baby, the first
grandbaby for JoAnn and her husband!)
Unfortunately, right before B’s wedding, we learned that JoAnn’s
younger sister now must face breast cancer herself. We are all praying
for this lovely woman, and sending her all the love and support we
can-hopefully, she will have the same courage, tenacity and luck her
elder sisters had.
JoAnn’s struggle and bright spirit were the inspiration for my first two Breast Cancer
a sort of tribute to JoAnn’s kids, the Maine Cousins, today’s pins are
‘little helper’ pins, who are there to give just another small push of
support! They are full of love and hope, and will be there every step of
Who is your inspiration to keep fighting? Or who will you not let give up?
Please remember that I am more than willing to create special orders,
so your fighter can have the perfect little helper with them always! You can email me at Marelladesigns@gmail.com