As I sit here to write out my story of Redefined Courage, I need to share about us. My husband Gerrod and me! We have an unlikely love story of trials and triumph, mainly trials, BUT love has prevailed and our faith is a big part of that.
We were first challenged when I became pregnant at a pivotal point in both of our lives, Gerrod with a successful business and me being accepted to a 4 year college. Fast forward 2 years and we got married and started working while raising our little boy, Colin (who is now 16).
During the first years of our marriage my Aunt Katherine was diagnosed with breast cancer, Gerrod's cousin fell ill and passed away and his mom fell ill and was in the hospital and then needed to be nursed back to health for 3 months. Shortly after my grandmother and Mom were diagnosed with breast cancer.
My Aunt Katherine passed away and then my grandmother and that's when I decided to be proactive and proceed with a preventative double mastectomy. At this point in our marriage we had 2 more children, Savannah and Emma. Recovery was challenging to say the least with a few revision and nipple surgeries. Looking back 8 years ago it was so tough going through all this loss, loss of life and loss of a part of me that I felt made me a woman, but could kill me. I faced major depression and anxiety, enough to put me on medication and to see a counselor.
In 2011, my mom's breast cancer came back with a vengeance. She developed red spots on her chest, which they thought were from radiation and they never went away. The spots then opened up to full blown sores from her neck to the bottom of her torso. Before this point she had 2 surgeries to have breasts, but they eventually had to be removed and she was now flat.
I knew the devastation cancer had on her mind and now her body and I wanted to make a difference. So, like any loving daughter would, I promised my mom to design her clothing that would be comfortable and fit her new body that cancer so devastatingly gave to her. She passed away December 5, 2015.
As I shared this with Gerrod he was so supportive. He knew the struggle I had coming home from the hospital with nothing to wear but his oversized men's button up shirt and my 4 drains pinned to my bra! As our story continues to unfold and we move forward as Redefined Courage, we have faced challenges and triumph and with our strong faith we will press on. We have developed a post op shirt, a chemotherapy shawl, and the FLATTER Collection for flat women (like my sweet momma)! There are many women that need to be helped in this crucial part of the journey, so we will not stop until there is #hopeforeverywoman.