Katie – Portland, MI

October 2019

For the month of October, we continue to honor our community of Metastatic Breast Cancer survivors. Katie shows her spark & sass every day, LEANING IN to life, and saying YES (and NO) more. She has shared her story with Hope Scarves, and returned her scarf. We love you Katie!

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

Katie ready to take on cancer in her bright red Hope Scarf

I am obsessed with Broadway musicals. I also enjoy watercolor painting.

What brought you hope as you faced cancer?

I am a knowledge seeker. So researching my type and stage of cancer, processing what Stage 4 meant, and then learning about the statistics was the first step for me. But with my faith in God, I realized that I am an individual and not a statistic. I choose to live my life surrounded by family and friends and try not to worry about everything. Supporting others and being a source of hope for others also helps me to feel hopeful too.

How do you live life over cancer?

I say YES more. I stepped outside my box and try to do more activities that I would not necessarily do in the past; such as pose for a breast cancer calendar and speak on our local news station. I try to advocate for metastatic breast cancer as a way to help others and to be a part of the movement to affect change in breast cancer community. I also say NO more. If it is something that doesn’t serve my family or me – I just say no, without guilt.

How did you become connected with Hope Scarves? 

I found Hope Scarves online. When I received my scarf I could not believe how aligned the story was to my cancer experience. I also enjoyed how it was beautifully packaged. During a time when I did not feel like myself  – and did not feel confident being bald – getting a scarf with a personal story meant the world to me. My scarf was bright red and made me feel like a badass. Since I had such a positive experience, I have sent scarves to a few friends facing cancer, praying that it would give them a source of hope and pleasure.

What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

What I wish other people knew about Hope Scarves is that the scarves are lovingly selected to try and match the recipient’s style as well as to align the story of hope with the receivers’ personal cancer story. These small thoughtful actions provide a huge impact. I also LOVE that Hope Scarves has a research branch where 100% of those funds go to metastatic breast cancer research. Hope Scarves not only provides HOPE in those small moments when you get and wear your scarf but is providing HOPE on a larger scale by supporting research that is imperative to the survival of women living with cancer.

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

Just send the scarf!  The process to send one is very easy. It is such a thoughtful gesture that has a huge impact on a cancer patient’s confidence, and the stories of Hope are uplifting and inspiring.

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

My goal for the future is to see my kids graduate from high school.  My dream is to see a cure for cancer in my lifetime.

Katie’s light shines brightly in her Nancye Belle Signature Scarf – a gift from Hope Scarves when she shared her story.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

I can’t choose just one; I enjoy many phrases and use them as mantras:

“Choose JOY” – “Faith not fear”  – “Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life”  – “Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything” – “My mind is calm, my body is healthy and my soul is joyful”

If your friends or family describe you in a couple of words, what would they say?

Smart, Silly, Sassy and Supportive

Please share something you learned facing cancer.

I am stronger that I ever thought. I have learned to choose joy even in the darkest times. Having cancer has made me love harder and put myself out there more in hopes of inspiring and helping others.