The Strongest Women I Know
This post sponsored by and in collaboration with JCPenney
When I was first approached and asked to work on this campaign to help spread awareness and share a little bit about how cancer has affected my family, I felt so honored and touched and even more so I felt thankful to share the stories of the two main women in my life who have been affected by cancer: my mom and my Mother-in- law. I have always vowed to stay truthful and honest in all of my posts, and although this is such a personal topic and one that is painful to relive, I knew that both of my moms would be proud that I would get to share about some of the best ways everyone can help donate to Cancer Awareness. Little did I know that 3 days after signing the contract and officially agreeing to proceed with this collaboration, my family would be hit with the most terrifying and gut-wrenching news we have yet to receive this year. What started out as an intention to share my Mom’s battle with skin cancer over 10 years ago, her second battle with Uterine cancer just two years ago, and to also share my Mother-in- laws battle with Breast Cancer 3 years ago, quickly turned into something I knew I had to dedicate to someone who I love more than words can ever say, my cousin (whom is more like my big sister) – Lina.
Lina and I were raised in a family where cousins are grouped into one pod and brought up together as if they lived in one house. It doesn’t matter who your parents are, all aunts and uncles may as well be your mom and dad and that means all cousins are basically raised as siblings. Lina is the second oldest cousin in the lineup, with me being 4 th . For over 8 years in my Grandmother’s house, the grandkids were made up of my older brother (he is the oldest), Lina, my cousin Sabrina, and myself. Just the 4 of us, best friends, the closest of cousins, and pretty much labeling ourselves as brother and sisters since day 1. There wasn’t a summer night we weren’t begging to spend the night at each other’s house and there was not a Christmas morning we were not gathered around my Grandma’s Christmas tree in our PJ’s jumping up and down waiting to open our gifts together. Our bond has always been so strong and unique, and as we all got older, grew into adults, and started our own families and lives, we remained just as close as ever, if not closer. We went through the best of times and the biggest heartbreaks together. Our family grew and evolved over the years, but the unique bond the 4 of us older cousins have always shared stayed so special to all of us.
The day I called and made my appointment at The Salon by InStyle at JCPenney to help promote and share about their services and ways to give back to their Cancer Awareness program, my entire family received a message that would change our entire day, week, month, and year. We found out that my cousin Lina had been admitted to the hospital and was in terrible pain. We all felt scared and heartbroken and made her sister Sabrina promise to keep us informed with promises of a visit throughout the week. It was only a few hours later that we got a text that would shatter us all and bring us all into the strong unit we are as we all jumped in our cars and headed straight to the hospital: Lina is was not well and the doctors believed immediately that it was Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Our entire family was at the hospital as fast as our cars could get each of us us there, and we spent the entire rest of the week rallying behind Lina, her husband, and their baby boys as best as we could. A few days later when the final tests confirmed our worst fears, we knew that now and more than ever we had to stay strong and stand behind our girl, vowing to go into battle with her and stay by her side the entire time.
Cancer is ugly. It is one of the ugliest forms of a terrifying and life changing monster as it could get, and chances are if you ask any person walking down the street they have been affected by cancer in some way. Whether it has been them, a family member, or a friend, everyone knows this battle all too well. No matter the situation when someone is diagnosed with this disease it can be the most terrifying moment of their life, and until the day comes when that is not the case, we must all do whatever it is we can to spread hope and share ways that will help organizations raise money to search and fight until we find a cure to this ugliness.
Throughout the month of October The Salon by InStyle inside JCPenney will be accepting donations and customers have the opportunity to win a basket of Salon & Sephora products. When I went in for my appointment, I was greeted by a beautiful sea of PINK merchandise and immediately felt thankful to give back to this organization in any way possible. I was complimented with a blow out and beach waves and shopped some of the Breast Cancer Awareness merchandise by JCPenney’s Xersion “Race Together” Collection (seen below) and shopped all of the merchandise at Sephora inside JCPenney.
Be sure to call and schedule your hair appointment this October at your local Salon by InStyle at JCPenney and while you are there be sure to donate to their Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and shop the merchandise!!!! Every little bit makes such a huge difference; do it in honor of someone you love or know who is out there battling this fight right now. Let’s all rally behind our champions and be the best support we all can be.
To my mom, my Mother-in- law, and my cousin Lina… you are all my heroes and the strongest champions I know!
You will forever remain my biggest idols.