Everything that defines us as females is taken away from Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer women. Surgery takes their breasts; Chemotherapy removes their hair; Radiation burns and cracks their skin. They are left in a visual state of disrepair and unrecognizable to themselves. Astonishingly, 1 in 8 American women, or 12%, will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. There are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. this year and 40,450 of those are expected to die from metastatic breast cancer. Our Stage 4 Breast Cancer women live in the shadows of the breast cancer community; they are terminal. Most donated funds are directed to research for the cure. Only 5% of donations ever reach the Stage 4 level.
I am Sandra Gunn a Breast Cancer Survivor! I met Stage 4 Breast Cancer women in surgery seminars in 2014. The seminars prepared us for our physical transition and our new normal. These Stage 4 BC women shared their emotional pain and fears with me. After hearing their stories of anxiety and despair I made a commitment to change their end-of-life experience. I gave up a successful career in a business I own to become the Founder of LESLIE'S WEEK, www.lesliesweek.org, where Memories Reign.
There are no organizations who cater exclusively to Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. These women are in the final stage of their breast cancer and slowly succumbing to metastasis of the brain, liver, bone and lungs. We introduced the concept of Vacations Away from Cancer where families make Memories that Outlast Cancer. No services exist to gift dying Stage 4 Breast Cancer women vacations with their families in places where they may celebrate life together.
LESLIE'S WEEK consoles families and solicits donors to provide holiday gifts for the children so they do not feel alone or isolated. We developed an Educational Assistance Fund Each benefiting the children left behind when their mother succumbs to her breast cancer. When our children graduate from high school and are accepted to an institution of higher learning they receive a grant sent directly to the school in their mother's name. The mother is not forgotten; She lives on in Memories.
L'Oréal Paris recognized the extraordinary value of what Sandra Gunn and LESLIE'S WEEK contribute to the breast cancer community by selecting Sandra as the recipient of one of their 10 Women of Worth awards, http://www.lorealparisusa.com/women-of-worth.aspx#Sandra-Gunn. Their recognition empowers Sandra and the LESLIE'S WEEK team of volunteers to select an additional number of nominated Stage 4 BC women for their 2017 vacations away from cancer. In addition, L'Oréal Paris broadens the public awareness for our passionate cause for all Stage 4 Breast Cancer women across our nation. They are to be commended for their call to action for all Women of Worth. They empower us!
To gift an expense paid week vacation to Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer Women and their families. To give our Stage 4 BC Women a reason to rejoice TODAY & TOMORROW; Providing Fun & Happiness for families TODAY, and by offering each LESLIE'S WEEK child participant Educational Assistance toward a degree or vocation of their choice, thereby creating a better TOMORROW. To provide Stage 4 families a place to gather their spirits in celebration of life where they Make Memories That Outlast Cancer.
LESLIE'S WEEK is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit for the benefit of Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their families.
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Source: Elder Care Huffington Post