October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and APR participated in various activities to help raise money for City of Hope – a treatment and research center. One major event was Pink Fridays. Every Friday employees were invited to wear pink and if they did, Linda would donate $5 for every employee who participated. A few other events were “Donate for Donuts” and raffle tickets for vacation days.
This particular cause struck close to home, as our founder and CEO Linda Stone is a Breast Cancer Survivor. Linda has now been cancer free for 17 years. Here are her thoughts on the trials she faced, being a survivor, and encouragement for others.
“It was a great feeling to see APR Employees support the cause. They were willing to give back to the community by participating in the fund raising event that benefits City of Hope and its Cancer Research Program.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and my treatment plan included a radical mastectomy and aggressive chemotherapy. Three days before my surgery, APR was awarded a big contract that was going to require a lot of work. APR could not afford to hire someone at that moment so as soon as I got home from surgery, I got busy. Needless to say, I did not have any down time and had to keep going. A big motivator was having the passion and desire to succeed at what I was doing. I had forgotten that I just had a major surgery and may not survive. That contract turned out to be a very successful business undertaking, growing exponentially each year.
The most challenging aspect of the cancer I went through was the chemotherapy. I also had a tough time living with one breast and had to carry a prosthesis so people would not notice my missing breast. Keeping a positive outlook in life, having a caring family there to support me, and keeping my mind busy on other activities, were helpful in overcoming this devastating incident in my life.
Some encouragement to others: Live a productive life, help those who need it most, and live life to the fullest without hurting others. Be happy and share your happiness with people around you. Support cancer research even if and when you do not have cancer and believe that someday there will be a cure for cancer and cancer will not be as life threatening as it still is today.”
All donations were given to the City of Hope research and treatment center. Linda Stone chose the charity because she has previously worked with them and supports the work they do. City of Hope not only conducts research for breast cancer, but other forms of cancer as well. They are working on other methods to cure cancer such as using patients own blood cells to defend themselves from the cancer in order to reduce the use of chemotherapy or other harmful methods. Their treatment for every patient is individualized by case because not all methods work the same for every patient. They also help those patients who survive cancer transition to their old way of life with group sessions and support.