September is here! That means it's the month of Teal! All month we will be sharing stories from survivors all over the country. We hope these stories from women, at all stages, will inspire you and touch your heart. We are going to kick off our survivor spotlights with a dear survivor, Monica. Monica has been a Teal Diva supporter and ovarian cancer survivor for 15 years.
Monica was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has had one recurrence. In the last 3 years, Monica has wanted to change her story. 3 years ago she lived her life all about cancer, every thought was cancer, every conversation was cancer, and every action was cancer related. Now she is living her life free from cancer both in her body and in her mind, she is taking more time to travel, date, and spend time with family. Although, yes, she was diagnosed with cancer, she has learned that cancer does not control her mind, and every day there are things to see, people to love, and other things to think about. Through this journey of finding herself post-diagnosis, she changed her lifestyle and lost 100 pounds in 5.5 years.
When asked what the word survivor means to her, she said it means "fighting and believing in yourself. It means you cannot give up". Monica is involved with the Woman to Woman program at her local hospital, Novant. Woman to Woman a group of women who get together who have been or are currently going through their diagnosis and treatment. It's a place where women can mentor each other while navigating the whirlwind of a cancer diagnosis. She's also been able to connect with women online and through social media.
Monica's mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and passed away in 1986, only living 4 months after her diagnosis. In honor of her mother, Monica started an LLC called Katherine Wyche Community. Their main passion is making survivors feel loved and cared for. They create care bags for those going through treatment, Christmas baskets to give to families right in the thick of diagnosis and donate gas cards to patients to get to and from necessary care visits. This year they plan on donating a portion of their money raised to support Teal Diva survivor programs.
The Katherine Wyche Community has a fundraising event coming up September 16-17, 2022. It's a "Paint the City Teal" bake sale and dinner. We hope anyone local will show up for Monica and her work toward making all survivors feel loved.
When we asked Monica if there was anything she'd like to tell other survivors it was this, "Do not give up, it does not matter what the doctors tell you. Say yes to support, if someone wants to be there for you let them be there for you."