It’s the beginning of the week … and you know what that means. Time to share a story of inspiration! It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Barbara Judge. This past May marked her 20th cancer free year – talk about something to celebrate! Read on to learn more about our friend, Barbara.
1.) Tell us about your breast cancer story.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago in 1990. I was on a business trip when my breast began hurting and I felt a lump. My sister is a breast cancer survivor and had a bilateral mastectomy in her 30’s, so I knew the importance of listening to your body and being your own health advocate through my sister’s cancer experience. I had a biopsy, which confirmed that I had breast cancer, followed by treatment with a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. In May 2010, I celebrated my 20 year birthday of being cancer-free.
2.) Tell me about your involvement with the American Cancer Society
My first experience with the American Cancer Society was 18 years ago as a Reach to Recovery volunteer. As a survivor, I was paired with a breast cancer survivor with a similar diagnosis to myself and provided emotional support to the patient. I also started volunteering with The Society’s Patient Navigation program two years ago, where survivors are placed in local healthcare facilities and assist newly diagnosed cancer patients with cancer information and resources. Most recently, I became the volunteer coordinator for The Society’s Road to Recovery program in Westchester, where we drive patients to and from their cancer treatments if they are too sick to drive, cannot afford transportation or do not have an available friend or family member to give them a ride. I do a lot of driving – anywhere from one to five rides a day! There is a tremendous need for new drivers.
3.) Tell me about your involvement with the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event
I volunteer at the survivor tent every year and talk to survivors about their personal story. We ask the survivors if there are any programs or services the American Cancer Society can assist with to aid in their cancer journey. The mood in the survivor tent is very upbeat and the survivors are very proud to be an important part of the Making Strides event.
4.) If you could give women one piece of advice about prevention and early detection as it relates to breast cancer, what would it be?
You need to know your own body and must be your own health advocate. If you feel something is wrong, visit your doctor, be persistent and get checked. Women should start getting mammograms at age 40 and if you’re at high risk, you should start testing at a younger age.
5.) Lilly Pulitzer is partnering with the American Cancer Society for breast cancer awareness!
Any company that wants to give back in some way and team up with the American Cancer Society to support our mission deserves some recognition. The partnership with Lilly Pulitzer and The Society is commendable and something I’d like to look into supporting myself through the upcoming Shop & Share events!