Think Pink Finalist Story: A Silver Lining Foundation

Cal Giant | October 22, 2012

Think Pink Finalist
Donna J, Illinois
A Silver Lining Foundation

In 1999, my first mammogram of the year came back with radial scarring. Usually this is a pre-cursor for breast cancer, but in my case it proved to be the real thing – I had breast cancer.

Having worked in the health profession for over 30 years, my physician referred me to a great oncologist who had treated his wife, also a breast cancer survivor. I was very lucky to find that my oncologist – a Sloan Kettering alumnus – was supportive, helpful and knowledgeable. It takes a team to survive and I was blessed with a GREAT team on my side.

I had two surgeries, lymphedema, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I like to joke that I lost my hair; I glow in the dark; and I have a definite lopsided quality about me that only another breast cancer survivor could understand. But the real blessing is that I am around to joke about it.

After my Tamoxifen five-year stint, I wanted nothing more to do with the memory of breast cancer. It was behind me and I didn’t want to think about it, nor did I want to remember. But then, the mammograms began. And they carried on…every six months. More mammos and more reminders of what I so desperately wanted to forget.

I lost my job, and the economy hasn’t exactly helped. But I continued to need the sanity of regular mammos. When I confided in my radiologist that I could no longer afford the high cost of mammograms, especially with unemployment barely covering my mortgage, she told me about A Silver Lining Foundation.

This incredible organization pays for mammograms for those who cannot afford to pay. Dr. Sandy, who I had been watching on TV for years, founded this organization as a breast cancer survivor who wanted to share the very real gift of life (and relief) with other breast cancer patients.

As it turns out, shortly after this conversation I found a job and was fortunate enough to never require assistance from A Silver Lining Foundation. I was able to continue paying for my regular mammos, but this issue touched me in a very real way and there are many women who may not be as fortunate as I was. There are still lives to save – and mammograms DO save lives.


Thank you California Giant Berry Farms, for helping spread the message about PINK. I am still here to recommend this organization to women who do not have health insurance and find themselves in difficult situations similar to mine. They deserve to survive, too!

Visit to read all 5 Think Pink finalists’ stories and vote for your favorite.

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