As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off, we pause to check in with so many families and friends that have been impacted by this disease. 1 in 8 U.S. women develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime – a staggering statistic.
The least we can do as the Rhoback community is spread further awareness of this vicious disease and create a platform to help raise funds for charities that are leading the charge in the fight against breast cancer.
We would like to announce the release of a print polo shirt called “The Fighter”, of which 20% of all sales will be donated to charities helping in the fight against Breast Cancer. This shirt was designed by a few members of our team that are incredibly passionate about fighting Breast Cancer. We wanted to share one story specifically of Rhoback employee, Elle Repeta, who’s mom has recently been diagnosed with the disease. Thank you, Elle, for sharing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your mom and the unbelievable men and women who are impacted by this disease across the world.
"When I first found out my mom had breast cancer it was January 2, 2020. My boyfriend, Matt, and I had just come back from visiting his family in LA for Christmas. My mom picked us up and we opened presents to celebrate with her. It was such a fun night followed by chili and movies until my mom sat me down and told me her doctor found a lump in her breast. I immediately crumbled into her. I had known so many women who had breast cancer, but my mom wasn’t meant to be one of those women. She was so positive and calm as she told me. She was actually comforting me. About her cancer.
"When we went to her follow up appointment it was not a matter of whether or not she had cancer, but next steps to treat it. I was a hundred different emotions. I was angry. My mom is one of the most kind-hearted and selfless women I know and I felt somehow that meant she should be exempt. I was scared. I had never thought of the possibility of losing my mom and the weight of that reality was too heavy for me to carry. I felt hopeless. And then the next emotion I felt was selfish. I was so consumed of how I felt. She, on the other hand, was strong. She never lost her faith. She was always positive. She radiated more joy and love to others. She did not waiver and kept doing things for others.
"The community of women that rallied behind my mom was humbling; they created a schedule to visit her so that she was never alone. I feel lucky that I have such a strong mom, and I feel lucky that her outcome came out the way it did because I know that many are not so lucky. One thing I learned was just how strong these women really are. However far along they are with breast cancer they remain tough. They never give up, even with the drains, the surgeries and treatment, the 10 pills a day they have to take. They keep fighting.
"Breast cancer is a unique disease in that even if you win your fight, it still strives to take your identity. As women, your breasts are sexualized and often define ones femininity; however, as breast cancer survivors you have to unlearn this and accept that they are your strength. The space that is now flat with scars is a reminder of what you have overcome. I hope when women see this print design, they will feel heard, and see their new shape and size as a badge of honor to be celebrated."