Sun Sentinel October 1, 2012 Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
I don’t like to think of myself as a survivor. Instead, I like to think of myself as a fighter. I found a lump on my left breast while I was showering. I never really thought it could be breast cancer … not me … not this young; I don’t have any history of it in my family. Besides, it didn’t hurt.
When I noticed the lump had changed, I made a doctor’s appointment. On Jan. 24, I was diagnosed [with breast cancer]. The diagnosis was probably the hardest part; you can’t help but expect the worst. Everything kind of stops and your mind gets clouded.
Being 33 years old and making the decision to have a double mastectomy was not easy. I had my ups and downs, and still do. I stay positive, appreciating the opportunity I have to heal, the opportunity to see all the good in everyone around me, and to understand how blessed I am. I focus on my daughter, and every time I feel like giving up I remember that she needs me for a very long time.
I could not have gone through this without my family and friends. My family flew in from Ecuador and Argentina, my parents moved in with me for several months, my daughter was the best nurse, and my friends stayed by my side making sure I did not feel alone at any given second.
My experience with Cleveland Clinic Florida also has been absolutely amazing. The cancer center staff was very professional and caring. When I had my heart surgery, two months after my mastectomy, my breast surgeon, Dr. Margaret Gilot, came to visit me in the ICU three times. Seeing her was very encouraging. With an illness like this, you go through so many emotions that change you and change your heart.
My experience opened my eyes to the financial burden. Even though I have insurance, I saw the hardship on others that didn’t. It is hard enough to figure out which treatment to take; the last thing anyone needs is to worry about how [to pay for it].
My two friends and I started a foundation, Sylvia’s Angels, that focuses on raising money to cover all medical and life expenses of a breast cancer patient in the service industry. We also want to focus on the emotional aspect [of the illness]. I have a huge support system, but not everyone is so blessed. We want to be able to provide [that support].
I would tell people who have just been diagnosed [with cancer] to try to see the positive side of it. Just take it as a great experience that can open your eyes to how much you are loved and how great everyone around you truly is, and how strong you can be.
Sylvia Clark (Photo by Andre Rowe / September 28, 2012)
Rusted Root will be playing live at Biergarten in Boca Raton for a charity event on November 7th, 2012. This is great news and we are truly thankful to have such an awesome band coming out.
We are also very proud to announce Official Sponsors Jagermeister USA!
Purchase tickets: http://ticketf.ly/R6JKWC
Ticket sales go to benefit Fight for Sylvia’s Angels.
Opening act: Grindstone & Bungled N Botched
In the darkest hour you will find light from an unusual place, Sylvia’s Angels will be your army and life force to keep you going. We will stand next to you and stare down your fight with you… Alone you may fall; together we stand tall and strong.
Fight like a girl for Sylvia Clark DBA Fight for Sylvia’s Angels is an organization that is driven to help. With breast cancer being such a debilitating disease, we have come together and will provide a life line to those who need it most. We want to help as many women as we can but we understand that, that goal is impossible, for now. We intend on starting and providing the life line to women who are currently in the service industry.
Servers, bartenders, managers, hair-dressers, customer service agents etc, these women typically do not have health insurance and if diagnosed with this horrific disease don’t have many places to turn. They will be able to turn to us. We will help them get the necessary treatment, find the right doctors, and have the support system they will need. We will provide them with guidance coaches, financial support, whatever they may need to survive and beat this disease.
We will hold benefits, walks, dinners, all things necessary, to help fund and finance their bills both personal and medical so that our Angels will have to focus on one thing and one thing only: Fighting Cancer and SURVIVING. Ultimately we believe that with our support system and financial planning we will help beat cancer one woman at a time.