Living with a rare, life-threatening disease can feel very isolating. Your family and friends want so badly to provide love and support, and their efforts are appreciated. However, finding others who have endured the same treatments as you and experience the same challenges you face is invaluable.
The SCCC / LCCC Sisterhood, a support group on Facebook, has brought together women struggling against this terrible disease. Though we are scattered across the globe, sister meet-ups happen when feasible. I was privileged to meet Imee, a 26-year old woman who bravely fought this beast, a few months before she lost her battle. She traveled from San Diego to Los Angeles for a second opinion at Cedars Sinai, where I receive treatment, and we met for coffee. We had talked by phone, text and through Facebook, but it was the first in-person meeting for both of us. Our visit was brief, but her courage and positive attitude cheered me. Sharing our fears and hopes for a miracle was uplifting for me, and I hoped for her too.
In March of 2013, my husband and I attended Imee’s memorial service. It was heartbreaking to see her loved ones – parents, siblings, friends and, most of all, her 6-year old son – mourn her passing. Her loss is felt acutely, yet she inspired those around her with her enthusiasm for life.