In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Vice President, Kristy Boulos shares her story.
I’ll never forget the day in October of 2000, when I received the call from my Mom, letting me know that she had breast cancer…again.
My Mom had cancer when I was younger, but I was unable to fully understand what she was going through, but I do remember how it impacted our family. This time, I was in college living in an apartment only a half hour away from my parents, but felt so helpless.
I had a hundred questions running through my mind and started asking my Mom all of them: What does this mean? How early did they catch it? Did it spread? What are you doing for treatments? When do you start? But, all I could really think was, Are you going to be ok?
I started going home more frequently to visit my parents and helped with shopping, cleaning and keeping my Mom’s spirits up. Anything to help lighten the load for my Mom, while she was getting her treatments. I helped out as much as I could, but still felt helpless. I only wanted to make her pain and her cancer go away.
This is when my family started participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk benefitting the American Cancer Society. It was additional moral support for my Mom, Dad (Don Tomala), Sister (Beckie Tomala) and I. We could raise money to help support research of this disease, while helping us focus on being positive. The walk was a very uplifting experience, being surrounded by survivors, honoring those who we’ve lost and being among the thousands of families and friends whose lives were forever changed. I realized that Making Strides could help cancer patients, like my Mom, battle this disease.
My family was one of the extremely lucky ones, they caught my Mom’s breast cancer early and we are blessed to have our Mom here to walk with us each and every year.
Our friends and family members starting sharing their own experiences with breast cancer and wanted to join the fight. As our team started expanding, we officially became team In the Pink.
We’re proud to say that 2015 is the 11th anniversary of team In the Pink. With the support of family and friends, we’ve raised more than $45,000 in the fight against breast cancer. We continue to do this walk in honor of my Mom, my Aunt and in memory of many dearly missed friends.
This year, hundreds of thousands of people will hear the words “you have breast cancer,” and there’s a good chance that some of them will be people we know and love. Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against breast cancer…whatever your reasons, we hope you’ll choose to make a difference by signing up to walk with us or by making a donation online to support our efforts. Together we will make a difference, make history, and make strides. Thank you for your support!
If you’re interested in being a part of our team, or in making a donation, please visit team In the Pink’s Making Strides page here: https://main.acsevents.org/goto/inthepinkchi
Kristy (Tomala) Boulos and the Tomala Family
The blog post is dedicated to:
Sue Tomala (Our Mom)
The Delort Family
The Killmer & Ivanich Families
The Kollias & Tsigolis Families
The Kot Family
The Lewis Family
The Mahoney Family
The Metzger Family
The Palumbo Family
The Yarus & Harps Families