Sometimes when you are needing a little help it pops into your life. Laurie and I grew up in the same community only years later to connect cause of stupid dumb breast cancer. Then again when she was slammed with a Stage 4 diagnosis. I missed doing my bravery bags but no time. BAM Laurie has the drive, passion and reason to start this up. It is now called “Bags of Inspiration” and we are ready for action! Please read Laurie’s story…
Hello, My name is Laurie Sutherland and I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am 52 years old and I have been married to my wonderful husband Jim for 32 years. We have 3 incredible kids (adults) that we are very proud of. In 2009 our lives were interrupted when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I went through several major surgeries and although my body was drastically changed, my outlook was positive.
At the time my friend introduced me to her wonderful friend Ann Marie. Ann Marie is the founder of Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer and like most breast cancer fighters/survivors there was an immediate connection, sort of like a sisterhood. I watched Ann Marie build Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer into a place where everyone regardless of what type of cancer could read, learn, voice their opinion, ask for advice etc. She amazed me, her strength was superwoman like! Ann Marie helped me recover in so many ways, but first and foremost she was a friend that I could count on.
Now I’ll take you to this year! In May I had a routine CT Scan as Pancreatic Cancer runs ramped in my family. I was expecting the results to be negative as I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. Much to my surprise I received a call from my Dr. advising me that my results showed some spots on my liver. I had a biopsy and 3 days later I got the devasting news that I had Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer in my liver. WHAT??? How could this be?? I have been cancer free for 10 years! Well it is what is, I can’t change it, so I put my BIG girl pants on and decided to FIGHT this BEAST! After the dust somewhat settled (it never will completely settle) I reached out to Ann Marie and as always, she was right there for me for whatever I needed.
My first day of Chemotherapy was scary (I didn’t have chemo the first time), but I was met with an incredible team at Upstate Cancer Center. When I checked in for treatment, I was given a beautiful basket with items that I would use throughout my fight. I was so INSPIRED by this! After a couple of weeks, I reached out to Ann Marie and told her that I had been up all night thinking about ways that I could give back to other cancer patients. I came up with an idea of “Bags of Inspiration”, and Ann Marie’s response was “We are cut from the same cloth”, I too used to do bags. Her bags were called “Bravery Bags”. And so, “Bags of Inspiration/Bravery Bags” were back in full force!
If someone was to ask me why I do these bags, I would have to tell you that it gives me a sense of peace, satisfaction that we are helping other cancer patients, pride in knowing that we are making a difference. One of the most amazing things I have found throughout this process is how generous people and companies truly are. Ann Marie and I are receiving boxes daily (we know the delivery drivers by name – lol).
I would like to take a moment to THANK, not only everyone who has purchased items through our Amazon Wish List but to the list of our ever-growing companies listed below who have generously donated items to fill our bags.
Faceplant Dreams –donated 200 of their warmest bedroom booties
Visit them at www.faceplantdreams.com
PJ Harlow – donated 10 of their softest silk pillowcases
Visit them at www.pjharlow.com
Buddha Board – donated 210 Mini Buddha Boards
Visit them at www.buddhaboard.com