Jennifer – Westlake, Ohio

Jennifer shows us that hope is always in style.  Her bright smile and fashionable approach to life with metastatic breast cancer is an example to us all on how to live life over cancer.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer.

I grew up on a farm in a small town.  I never really traveled much as a kid, so as an adult, I am always planning my “next trip.”  It makes the never-ending treatment tolerable.  I especially love the beach.  My favorite place is The Outer Banks of North Carolina.  My husband and I lived in NC for 13 years, and it was a fun place to jump in the car and go, even if it was just for a weekend of kayaking.

What brings you hope as you face cancer?

I have stage IV breast cancer and the reality of a life in treatment can be overwhelming.  But I have learned to take life one day at a time.  There are many happy moments in my life and those are what I focus on.  This, and research, brings me hope.

How do you live life over cancer?

Honestly, my life is about making memories with my family.  My kids love our Sunday’s at the Zoo, our trips away, hiking, and riding bikes.  Getting out of the house makes it easy for me to put it all aside for a few hours, and have fun.  

How did you become connected with Hope Scarves? 

March 2015, I went to the YSC Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.  Before the conference I got emails that they were collecting scarves, so I asked my friends and family if they could help me collect the scarves they no longer wanted for women with cancer. I brought 40 scarves down, and met Lara, who was thrilled to pieces.  

Earlier this year, I found out I was going to be starting IV chemo, and I’d lose my hair. Lara sent me the loveliest scarf that was bright and fun, just like my personality.  Along with it, she sent a personalized note that meant so much to me.  

What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

That they are run on donations, and the time of volunteers.  

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend facing cancer?

Feeling your best while going through chemotherapy is not easy.  Your head gets cold (especially in the climate I live in), but if I leave the house, I want to look my best.  My scarves are soft, and comfortable, and always add the right thing to my outfit, or my makeup.

What is one of your dreams or goals for the future?

 I hopefully want to see my daughter and son graduate from high school.  To travel more with my husband just the two of us. 

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

Fortune favors the bold.

If your friends or family had to describe you in a couple of words, what would those be?

 I hope that they would say that I’m sweet, funny, and down to earth.  

Please share something you learned facing cancer.

To do what makes me happy, and my family happy.  Simply seeing my kids laugh or smile is all I need.  To make memories that my kids carry on long after I’m gone.  Getting to have lunch or coffee with my friends, because I can is a good thing.  

Oh, and BUY the SHOES.  Always buy the shoes.