Shaika – Chicago, IL
Shaika is a scarf recipient, diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at the age of 32.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer.
I am such a party planner, I love to host theme parties. Every year for my husband and children’s birthday I always pick a different theme and invite everyone. The more the merrier.
What brought you hope as you faced cancer?
My children brought me so much hope and inspiration to fight breast cancer with all I’ve got. My babies were 1 and 3 years old at the time of my diagnosis. I remember bending down to my knees and telling God, how much my babies needed me and how I wanted to see them grow up to become men of God. I prayed to God that I wanted to grow old with my husband and drink coffee with him sitting in a rocking chair watching our boys raising their families. Prayer gave me the strength to believe there’s a bright light at the end of this dark tunnel.
How do you live life over cancer?
I live one day at a time. I now stop and smell the flowers, look at the beauty in everything, and celebrate every day as my birthday.
How did you become connected with Hope Scarves? Whether you received, sent or donated a Hope Scarf, what did this experience mean to you?
My sister Carmen who played a huge part in my Breast Cancer journey found Hope Scarves as she was looking online for head pieces she could order for me. She was very impressed with the meaning behind Hope Scarves and ordered mine without me knowing. When I received it I felt so special, it was like receiving a gift, but this time I was receiving a gift from a stranger. The way it was wrapped was beautiful and when I opened it the scarf screamed my name, Shaika!!!!! It’s Bright Pink My Favorite Color, “Before BC”, white, orange and purple with hearts and flower print. I absolutely love my scarf.
What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?
I want for people to know Hope Scarves is just not a nonprofit organization that donate scarves to women losing their hair to cancer. It’s more than that, each scarf is a symbol of someone’s journey with Cancer. Each scarf tells a story and with that story there is a person who fights cancer very hard while wearing this scarf. Hope Scarves also donates a portion of their proceeds to research for Metastatic Breast Cancer, a part of Breast Cancer people really do not want to talk about.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend facing cancer?
Send the scarf to your friend because it gives super powers. Not all super heroes wear capes, some of us wear scarfs.
What is one of your dreams or goals for the future?
One of my dreams is to wake up one day in a cancer-free world. A future goal is to become a spokesperson as a Breast Cancer Survivor. I want to talk to others about the importance of how early detection for Breast Cancer can save your life. I would also want to serve as a resource for others to be in the know about Breast Cancer through my experience. I want to bring raise awareness, raise funds for research and donate as much as I can until the very last day we find a cure. I would love to have huge fundraiser benefit parties to get the conversation going.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25.
If your friends or family had to describe you in a couple of words, what would those be?
Happy, Strong, Determine, Positive, Open Minded, Caring Person.
Please share something you learned facing cancer.
As a young survivor now 5 months out of treatment, my journey is not over. The constant fear is there, the aches and pains from the lymphedema are there. Now the muscle spasms are there because of the tamoxifen hormone pill I will be taking for 10years. Heat flashes at age 34 and body changes I didn’t think to worry about until later in life. All in all it is okay to feel all of this because it reminds me every single day how lucky I am to be very much alive.