Last year my friend, Bambi, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had just turned 40. This was her first mammogram. She was diagosed with an Intermediate Grade Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At the end of 2015 she underwent a lumpectomy - a procedure that typically takes an entire month to entirely recover from. Once she recovers, they will perform another test to be sure there no cancer cells left in my sentinel lymph node. If her pathology is clear at that point, she won't need further surgery.
However, at this point, and once she's healed from surgery , she will have to go through 6 weeks of raditation therapy - between five and seven days a week - as well as take the drug, Tamoxifen, for 5-10 years. As her cancer is fed by estrogen and progesterone, theTamoxifen will be able to block those hormones. She expects her out of pocket costs before medication to be somewhere around $12,000. This does not include money she needs to pay for living expenses for the time she misses work that is not covered after she expends her two weeks a year vacation. Pre-radiation treatment, she has already dipped into her vacation time for 2016.
I first met Bambi when I was selling homemade soaps on the Roanoke City Market
. She worked for our local non-profit art museum, now called the Taubman Museum
, at that time. She and her friend Abby would come by almost everyday on lunch, weather permitting, to sample my new fragrances and occasionally treat themselves to several bars when their budgets allowed. While the recession eventually took it's toll on both of our circumstances, Bambi did move on to work for another non-profit organization, the Mill Mountain Zoo
, also in Roanoke, VA.
Currently Bambi manages the education department at the local zoo teaching people of all ages about science, biology and conservation.
Professionally Bambi has been an educator since 1999, concentrating in both art and cross-curricular education. In addition, much like myself, Bambi also has worked from home part-time as an artisan. While I made soap, Bambi continues to create jewelry for her Etsy shop, Happy Tree Frog Studios
, when she is able.
As Bambi has always been a staunch supporter of the arts, crafts people and artisans as well as other various non-profit organizations through both her work and within her personal life, I am hoping that the community will be willing to give back and help with her financial needs at trying point in her life.
I have no doubts that once she conquers this portion of her journey that she will pay it forward to others through her love and service to others. Bambi has always been a loyal, tried and true friend who gives her best to others without seeking anything in return and she is admired, respected and loved by many people within the community she serves.
All money raised for Bambi will go directly towards her paying for her medical bills and medication as well as to pay for basic living expenses including her mortgage, utilities and food during the times she misses work without compensation.
In addition to this fundraiser, Martin's Downtown
in downtown Roanoke has graciously agreed to allow us to host a benefit show for Bambi on March 6, 2016 from 4pm-10pm. Several wonderful bands are donating their time. They include My Radio
, The Floorboards
and Tobacco Apache.
Not only are these three of Bambi's favorite local bands who make remarkable music, the members are all also truly fantastic people. The benefit show will also include a silent auction. For more information please visit the event website here
Thank you for your time and consideration. You cannot imagine the peace of mind your support will bring. And please, please. Remind your friends and loved ones to get an annual mammogram. It is never too soon.