Founder

Susie Walker Byrd

Susie Walker Byrd

My name is Susie Walker Byrd. On December 23, 2014, while everyone else was planning for Christmas fun and festivities with their family and friends, I was planning for chemo treatment, bilateral mastectomy and deciding if I wanted reconstructive surgery. I was given a terrifying diagnoses… triple negative breast cancer  (the worst of all breast cancers).  As I faced my mortality, I embarked on an emotional journey of self-discovery, love and forgiveness. Using my social work experience advocating for children and families, I knew I had to go on a quest to save my own life! My care consisted of chemotherapy and a few surgeries. After the last treatment, I was excited to leave the building knowing it was my last time feeling weak, nausea, and that I wouldn’t have to go back next week… woot woot!

 

While there is nothing pretty about the pink breast cancer ribbon, I want people to know it is not an automatic death sentence. I want to give people encouragement not to give up and know that they’re not alone. During my treatments, I was blessed to connect with an organization called Jill’s Wish that provided financial assistance and paid a large portion of my bills. Upon completion of treatments, I joined Jill’s Wish board of directors and share their mission. You can learn more about Jill’s Wish here.

Celebrating Life

I chose not to have reconstructive surgery, a decision one of my doctors and many of my friends couldn’t understand. Who wouldn’t want a new pair of perky breasts! For one, I don’t like going under anesthesia not knowing what is happening to me. Second, I’m overweight and considered obese so the new breast would only look like a small lump (definitely not worth the pain for a lump). Third, having a flat chest is my war wound, a constant reminder of how blessed I am to be alive. In spite of life’s ups and downs, I am still here and that is worth celebrating!!!

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