Family. The word means “a specific group of people that may be partners, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.” But it also means so much more–it can include your friends, your teachers, your neighbors, and your co-workers. It is the people who are a huge part of your life—those you can count on, who love you and would do anything for you. And, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, these are the people who are also affected. They also feel the devastation, the fear, and the worry.
Just like Rays of Hope wraps breast cancer survivors in a great pink hug of support, family members are those people— whether blood relatives or not—who surround you and provide you with hope and strength. Recognizing that, Rays of Hope has named the first husband and wife team to be the 2020/2021 Rays of Hope Chairs.
Jackie and Al Rodriguez know how much family means during a cancer diagnosis. Jackie was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 40 and turned right away to her husband and family for strength.
“Support is vital,” said Jackie. “It is one of the key elements that has helped me face my fears, and has given me strength, courage and a positive outlook on my life.”
They are especially proud of their Hispanic heritage and the huge community that supports Rays of Hope every year at the Walk & Run in October, including their team, Las Luchadoras, which translates to Women Fighters. They are 10 years into the battle—Jackie as a survivor, Al as a co-survivor (a term used to identify those who are integral in survivors’ cancer journeys), and their team, who they consider family, are with them every step of the way.
“We are forever grateful for the continuous support and love we have received over the years from family and friends, even me as a co-survivor,” shared Al.
Rays of Hope can mean family as well. It’s a family made up of people who may not know you but who care deeply about you. They wrap their arms around you through donations to Rays of Hope that they personally make or collect from others to help fight against breast cancer.
“Donations are number one,” said Jackie. “Without them, it is not possible to continue the fight.”
Join the Rays of Hope family so that no one faces breast cancer alone. Register online to fundraise and then join the virtual movement to walk and run, culminating with a celebration on Sunday, October 25.
Registration is open now.