Grandma Larsen was always willing to help those in need- food, money, gas, you name it. I may not have the means to give as much as she could, but I do aspire to show my support whenever I can, whether its supporting a small business, attending an event or buying a t-shirt.
What if the shoe was on the other foot?
In 2018, I was on the Sleepy Eye Medical Center gala planning committee to raise funds for our 3D Mammography software. My job is all about enhancing the patient experience and after hearing about the anxiety a patient went through when they heard, “additional imaging is required,” I was ready to do my part to help plan the event so that SEMC could provide start of the art imaging services for breast cancer detection.
In October 2019, to support a great cause and a dear friend, I attended the B the Light Gala. It was a phenomenal event held “to give hope to breast cancer survivors.” I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when we heard the story of Aunt B., and learned why this foundation means so much to Amber, also a breast cancer survivor.
Well, you guessed it and if you’ve been following my blog, the shoe has been on the other foot since November of 2019, when my family and I received the diagnosis of breast cancer. (Now that I’m typing this all out for you, I’m realizing it was meant to be. God was preparing me for this breast cancer journey all along.)
Ok, long story short, I have been following B the Light on Facebook since attending their gala and when I saw they were taking applications for their HOPE Getaways, I knew I had to apply. Part of the application process was to write an essay of 500 words or less. Here is my essay:
Hello, my name is Sara Schultz. I am a daughter, wife, mother, friend, co-worker, goal getter and breast cancer warrior. I was diagnosed on November 14th with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma at the age of 31. At that point in time, I felt robbed. My life as I knew it was about to change- how would my children, Samuel (3) and Rowyn (1) cope? Will my husband still think I’m beautiful? What about all of my hopes and dreams?
Thankfully, I had an amazing doctor to guide me in times when I needed her most. I may have only sent her a few short texts, but she was always quick to respond. One day I told her I felt like I had been robbed- I spent most of my time worrying, stressing and waiting. I wasn’t doing things I enjoyed anymore, like running or training for an upcoming triathlon, marathon or climb (remember, I told you I’m a goal getter.) Dr. Jordan responded to me with this, “Cancer robs you of control over your life and body. But it also teaches us that we never really had control in the first place. It’s humbling and empowering at the same time.”
It was at that point in time that I decided that breast cancer wasn’t going to control my life, it was going to transform me into a better version of myself, and it has.
Sure, I put much of my dreams on hold, like climbing Rainbow Mountain, but right now I’m climbing a different mountain, cancer. Cancer definitely sucks, but it makes the positive things in my life shine so much brighter. Thank you, cancer. There is a saying, good things come to those who wait, and in this case, I think it does. Had I taken the trip to Rainbow Mountain before my diagnosis it would have just been something to cross off my bucket list, now it would mean so much more. It would mean I am an overcomer.
I can imagine myself there, on top of Rainbow Mountain, I have tears streaming down my face as I take in the unbelievable beauty that this mountain has to hold. I am completely still, calm and overflowing with gratitude.
Receiving a HOPE Getaway Award would mean so much to me. My husband and I actually looked into flying to Peru and embarking on a 1 to 3 day hike up Rainbow Mountain, sadly it just didn’t fit our budget. Now we joke about it and say, “if it wasn’t for this diagnosis we could have climbed Rainbow Mountain twice!” Climbing Rainbow Mountain will continue to be a dream of mine, but with your help and generous consideration you could make my dream a reality. I could be an overcomer.
My dream is coming true and I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity!
Folks, God has a plan for all of us, we just need to remember: Let go and Let God. He was preparing me for this diagnosis the whole time: attend Rise, practice self development, raise funds for 3D mammography and support a friend with a great cause.
Now in closing, I ask you to do the same. Help a friend, buy a shirt, make a donation.