Celebrating Second Chances
Two years after being diagnosed with invasive stage III breast cancer, Laura Kelly recently returned from the doctor with good news: her PET scan came back clear. She was cancer free from head to toe.
“It was such an incredible feeling of relief, knowing the PET scan results. That night I slept deeply for the first time since my diagnosis two years ago” said Laura Kelly, Vice President of Communications and Development at Brother’s Brother Foundation.
Laura spent the past two years undergoing countless treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, and physical therapy. Her radiant smile never faded, and her rigorous schedule remained. In addition to her BBF work, she was also active with duties related to her role as the wife of United States Military Academy at West Point Deputy Commandant, Col Todd Kelly.
“Many people don’t understand my breast cancer story is not over yet. They will often come up to me and say ‘Oh you look so much better.’ They think I’m all done now, but I’m not,” Laura said. “It doesn’t go away.”
Laura still sees multiple doctors and has to take a regimen of different medications each day to continue the fight against breast cancer and maintain her health. Despite doing everything right, there’s always a chance that the cancer could come back someday.
“These next five years are critical,” said Laura.
It’s for that same reason that Laura encouraged Brother’s Brother Foundation to use its Breast Cancer Fund to extend its reach to offer support and resources to those who have recently completed treatments as well. In previous years, the fund has supported breast cancer screening and those undergoing treatment.
“It takes a significant amount of resources for a person to regain their health following breast cancer treatment, and supportive care is not always prioritized following the conclusion of treatments. Many cannot afford the extra expenses associated with post-surgery counseling or therapy,” said Laura. “Supportive services are essential in recovery – both physical and emotional healing – and are associated with better overall outcomes.”
Most recently, BBF’s Breast Cancer Fund provided a grant to support a breast cancer imaging
program led by RAD-AID, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving access to medical imaging and radiology in countries with underdeveloped health care. The program will promote early diagnosis through screenings while also strengthening the pathway from diagnosis to treatment by evaluating infrastructure for breast care and creating sustainable programs. The organization currently has outreach initiatives in India, Peru, Guyana, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the United States.
Brother’s Brother Foundation began the Breast Cancer Fund in October of 2021, after Laura was diagnosed. In the time since, it has supported patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer or prostate at the infusion center at St. Luke’s Montefiore Hospital in New York—where Laura also received treatment—and Ribbons of Love, a program that provides medical treatment to women battling cancer in Honduras.
October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Third Annual BBF Breast Cancer campaign will focus on continuing education and ongoing recovery for breast cancer patients.
This year’s campaign theme is renewal and growth after overcoming breast cancer. BBF will host a Survivor’s Garden Party where survivors and supporters will come together to celebrate life, share stories of triumph, and plant flowers as a symbol of resilience. More details about this special event will be available soon.
The funds raised will go toward providing post-recovery support services, such as counseling and survivorship programs, to help breast cancer survivors flourish in their new chapters of life.
Support Breast Cancer Survivors And The BBF Breast Cancer Fund
Your donation will ensure those recovering from breast cancer have all the resources they need to regain their health. This year, we are introducing three different ways to support the Breast Cancer Fund, each named after a flower that symbolizes strength. The daffodil, tulip, and iris are bulb flowers that blossom in the spring following challenging and difficult winter conditions.