In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Q102 and Klosterman Baking Company—in support of Pink Ribbon Girls—want to recognize the courage and determination it takes to fight this disease. Read on for why these local women, who volunteer or utilize Pink Ribbon Girls' services, are Pink with a Purpose. And look for Klosterman Pink Loaves at a Kroger near you. No one travels this road alone!
FAIRBORN, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
Originally from California, I moved to Fairborn to help take care of my great-granddaughter because my granddaughter was in the Air Force and was stationed in Dayton. Shortly after my move, she received orders to serve in Korea. I had my cancer care situated in Ohio, so I decided to make Ohio home.
When I moved to Ohio, I found that my transportation provider, provided through my insurance, became unreliable. I finally broke down while waiting for a ride to see the oncologist and was told my ride wouldn't be there for an hour and a half.
I literally broke down and called my primary physician who transferred me to a case manager. That case manager led me to the Pink Ribbon Girls-healthy meals, house cleaning services, and, above all, reliable transportation. I felt such relief having the peace of mind that I wouldn't have to miss anymore appointments.
Because of Pink Ribbon Girls, I am confident in being able to make it to and from appointments, I'm learning how to eat healthier, and I have an avenue to connect with peers who have been on this journey.
KIM FARIS WEIMER
CENTERVILLE, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
My cancer journey began in October 2018, coincidently breast cancer awareness month. My visit to KBEC at the Kettering Cancer Center started off as it had every year throughout the past two decades. When my name was called, I was happy to see my "friend" Monna, who was my mammography tech many times throughout the years. I joked with her asking if she had put her hands in the freezer in anticipation of my exam and asked if she had plans for the weekend. After my mammogram, Monna said words to me that I will never forget. Monna said, "This isn't turning out the way it's supposed to. Kim, have a seat and I will be right back."
Waiting for Monna to return seemed like an eternity. A doctor came in and explained that something suspicious showed up in my mammogram and that further testing would need to be done. I knew right then that I had breast cancer.
How did I know? Well, one week earlier my husband, Steve, had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and in our 33 years of marriage, we always did everything together. So, our cancer journeys began…
Thanks to the volunteers and everyone at PRG, I never felt alone in my cancer journey. Because of Pink Ribbon Girls, I have made lifelong friends, and I know that we will travel each road together…always. I am grateful and thankful for the compassion, love and support that PRG offers to women fighting breast and gynecological cancers. PRG is such a blessing!
CINCINNATI, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I am a 28-year-old makeup artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am married to the love of my life and we have 2 amazing boys, ages 11 and 6. On September 4th, 2020, I was diagnosed with Stage 2, HER2+ Breast Cancer. It was very unexpected news, especially at my age and with no family history. Months prior to my diagnosis, I had noticed a small lump on my left breast. A month later, I find myself getting an ultrasound and mammogram, then scheduling a biopsy, then getting the call that changed my life. I started chemotherapy in October 2020. I am still receiving treatments every 3 weeks and on medication for the next 5 years. In the midst of it all, I have learned to find the positive and silver linings in all things. I wished I'd realized sooner that I was not alone, and I am fortunate to have the best medical team, the best family and the best support team I could ever ask for.
I reached out to Jan at Pink Ribbon Girls because I needed peer support, I needed to talk to someone who understood what I was going through, I didn't want to feel alone anymore. I was fortunate enough to meet some incredible women through PRG. I also used their free, healthy meal service. PRG has made me feel like I matter, like my story matters and that I could possibly make a difference and help other women. PRG has inspired me to take this tough experience and turn it into something positive. Because of PRG, I want to continue sharing my story and help make an impact in the lives of others.
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I originally found out about PRG from the doctors at The Christ Hospital at the Mason location. Through Pink Ribbon Girls, I was able to have meals and house cleaning that I really enjoyed. The best meal I got was the chicken breast with a gravy, but I also thought the breakfast meal was good. My husband and kids were skeptical of the meals at first, but once I got them to try them, they really loved them. It made a difference knowing I didn't have to worry about cooking for them when I was too tired from treatment and medication.
The housecleaners did a great job. I especially loved how detailed they were, as well as how kind the ladies were. I didn't have to worry about the cleanliness of my house because of Pink Ribbon Girls. I give this organization a 10. These people who you don't know tell you they are going to show up for you, and they do. They care, they are prompt and always efficient. I appreciate it so much and never had to give a second thought whether they would disappoint me.
To anyone going through a breast or gynecological cancer journey... Trust me, you need this service; let them help you.
To the donors of PRG: I wish I could give you a big thank you and tell you thank you! I believe in each and every one of you.
CINCINNATI, OHIO | ENDOMETRIAL CANCER
Pink Ribbon Girls provided me with meals, transportation and all-natural cleaning supplies. The turkey chili and the beef chili were amazing and almost as good as my own recipes.
Outstanding doesn't even begin to describe the Pink Ribbon Girl drivers. Chic and Diane were so kind and courteous to me. They reminded me when they would pick me up, and I safely got to my appointments. I adore them and appreciate all they have done for me. Being on a fixed income, I couldn't have afforded to get to all of my appointments on my own.
Taking off the potential stress of having to worry about food and rides was so alleviating. I could keep up with my family and their busy schedule and not feel like I had to ask them for everything because I had this helpful alternative. Financially, I also was able to focus on paying for my prescriptions.
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: GODSEND. Everyone I ever spoke with has such a spirited attitude.
I adore this organization and everyone who has helped me. I tell everyone about the Pink Ribbon Girls and how they helped me. Thank you to the donors because this is a service that is necessary for people as they fight cancer.
CASSIE FULMER BROWN
MONROE, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I discovered Pink Ribbon Girls one day while scrolling through Facebook. PRG became more than just a page I liked and followed.
After being diagnosed with Stage IIA Breast Cancer, I remembered PRG and what they do in the community for cancer patients and their families. I decided to contact PRG, and the rest is history.
Throughout my journey with PRG, I used the peer support services and joined PRG's Survivorship Program. Along with that, I connected with other women through Pink Ribbon Girls' Facebook Group that encourages clients to get up, walk, and track it. I enjoy the challenge of beating our walking goals as well as the unity this group provides and inspires me.
Over the years, PRG has solidified itself as an unwavering support system in my life. PRG is a great organization of supportive women who have helped me along my journey in many ways.
To the community of PRG supporters: Thank you so much for your kindness. This group means a lot and has had a positive impact on so many women and men.
DENA MULLINS AUSTIN
MIDDLETOWN, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
After being diagnosed with Stage IIB Intraductal Carcinoma and Intraductal Carcinoma in Situ, I began looking for a community of supportive peers. I found that and much more after a nurse navigator at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio, told me about Pink Ribbon Girls.
After contacting PRG, I started using the their meal delivery service. I began looking forward to the variety of meals, particularly the chicken-based meals. I appreciated the convenience and dependability. I loved that I could call PRG, tell them what I wanted, and I received just that. It helped to take a burden off of my family.
With a daughter away at college and a boyfriend that worked full-time, the meal services served as comfort for me. It was relieving to know that my boyfriend or visiting daughter could quickly grab a healthy meal out of the freezer and pop it in the microwave. This took some of the pressure off of myself when I did not have the energy to cook.
Pink Ribbon Girls' services helped me to focus on my family as a unit. Having PRG as a resource took the pressure off of me. It allowed me to solely focus on getting better.
Thank you for the unexpected gift of family and shared meals during a trying time. I treasure this family time. Thank you PRG.
CINCINNATI, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma)…at 17 weeks pregnant in 2020. I learned about PRG from my oncology team AND a former PRG employee who began working for my sister-in-law at the time of my diagnosis.
Through PRG, I received meals from Sunbasket-DELICIOUS-but most importantly, they connected me with Beth, who also battled cancer when she was pregnant. She then introduced me to my group of "breasties." PRG gave me the greatest gift during a time when I felt VERY alone: a friend who knew exactly what I was going through, and she was local! As soon as PRG received my information, Beth, my new "breastie," reached out to me within a few hours. Having her support and learning her story filled me with so much hope and was a key element in getting me through such a stressful time in my life. I can't thank PRG enough for bringing us together.
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be empowering.
PRG is an incredible organization that provides multiple levels of support for women going through breast/gynecological cancer. They make sure no woman walks this journey alone, treat you like family and give you the boost of confidence you need to face one of the scariest times in your life.
The PRG community helped me to not feel alone during one of the most challenging, difficult and terrifying times in my entire life. That gift will be forever cherished by myself, my husband and our entire family. You are in our prayers of thanks and gratitude every single day. THANK YOU!
DAYTON, OHIO | OVARIAN CANCER
I was 41 years old and had never even heard of ovarian cancer. I was in good general health. I started feeling bloated, feeling full and blamed it on gluten. I had some urinary changes and slight incontinence. Blamed it on my age.
I went to my annual gynecologist appointment. I assumed it tested for all gynecological cancers - it doesn't. Two weeks after my annual checkup, I went to the emergency room because I had major abdominal swelling and pain. I learned I had a 17 cm mass and was told it's probably a just a cyst, but was referred to an oncologist just in case.
Unable to get an appointment with the oncologist the next day, I went to the ER where the oncologist practiced. Two days later, I had a 5-6 hour surgery to remove a 10-pound mass, my omentum, appendix and had radical hysterectomy. I had ovarian cancer.
I was apprehensive about PRG at first until a friend reached out encouraging me to talk with a couple of ladies from PRG. They reached out that same day and we set up a lunch meeting for the next day. They even picked me up. As they discussed their diagnoses, their history and what they went through, I realized they "get it." By the end of that lunch, I was hooked. Going to coffee talks, having that peer support and learning from others who had been through the same thing as me was life changing.
PRG made such a positive impact on my cancer journey.
TROY, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
In November of 2019, I was diagnosed with stage 1, triple positive breast cancer. This was my second cancer occurence, with my first cancer diagnosis as Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1997. That was a life-altering event, as my diagnosis was one month before our wedding day. My husband and I rescheduled our wedding so that I could go through treatment. It was a difficult and heartbreaking time in our lives. It marked us, but we got married and we built a life and a family. Every day has been valuable since that time because we now know how precious life is after fighting so hard for it.
I made it through treatment, and we are working through the aftermath. It's a process, and the healing isn't on a timeline. It happens as you go, and you let it happen. Our days feel more like they used to, and cancer isn't the center of our universe anymore-life is and people are.
Pink Ribbon Girls was an incredible help during my breast cancer treatment. I reached out to them soon after I was diagnosed and applied for the meal program. It was an incredible service to our family. Pink Ribbon Girls came alongside us when we needed them. They offered care and support and met our practical needs.
Because of Pink Ribbon Girls, the weight of our journey was lightened. Our whole family was cared for, and that made a difference.
CINCINNATI, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I found out about Pink Ribbon Girls through my doctors and social workers at Good Samaritan Hospital. They couldn't speak more highly of PRG. The meals I received from this organization helped me continue to be adventurous in food by trying new things that I didn't know I liked. The meals were so helpful to myself and my wife when I did not have the energy to cook. The jambalaya was absolutely my favorite dish.
Additionally, I received rides through PRG. All of the drivers through Uber Health were very polite and kind to me, but I loved when I was picked up by Diane, the PRG driver. She put me at ease on my way to treatments and was such a sweetheart. All of my rides were on time and got me to my treatments safely.
The amount of stress and worry taken off my family and I has truly made a difference on this journey. I have been able to focus on being with friends and family so I can fight and focus on my health.
If I could describe PRG in one word it's: OUTSTANDING
To the donors of PRG, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart and please keep doing the work you're doing.
MIDDLETOWN, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
Dr. Guy of Miami Valley South Hospital recommended PRG to me, which I am so thankful to him. Through PRG, I received meals, transportation and great peer support. These meals were such a lifesaver on days I didn't have the energy to walk down the stairs, let alone cook for myself. Being able to eat something that actually tastes good makes such a difference when you are battling cancer. I loved the spicy udon noodles and kimchi fried rice with egg.
I would not have been able to get to my treatments if it was not for PRG-they took care of me. The drivers have a great sense of humor. It was great to laugh with someone especially after a terrible day.
The difference PRG has made on this journey has been so impactful. They made my journey easier, and I did not feel so alone.
If I could describe PRG in one word it would be: Amazing!
Pink Ribbon Girls gives patience, hope and all the support you need. Without PRG, I know this would have been a miserable and lonely journey. I will constantly thank them for giving me continuous hope and support when I thought I had none.
WEST CHESTER, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I was so grateful to receive the services of meals, house cleaning and peer support. The meals were delicious, and I loved the Asian bowl and Mac and Cheese. The house cleaners were so nice and tried to do as much as they could in their time here-they kept asking what else they could clean! Building a community of friends through PRG's peer support has been tremendous. The first one I went to was a flower farm to create our own bouquets. It was so much fun, and I created lasting friendships.
I joined the PRG-Let's Get Moving Facebook group, which hosts fitness challenges and promotes an active lifestyle. Exercise has been shown to help reduce cancer recurrence. This group is so inspiring! We all post some of the workouts we do, and to see all the posts from all different stages-some are going through chemo, some radiation, it just amazes me. In October, I ran 50 miles and raised over $500 for PRG in memory of my mom, who died from breast cancer in December 2019.
Besides the services they provided for me and my family after my surgery, PRG has really taught me how important it is to give back. I love attending any events they host or peer events, but I especially try to volunteer as much as I can. I am such a huge advocate for PRG, and I tell as many people as I can about them!
To PRG champions: Thank you so much! Your support provides more than just meals, rides, or house cleaning. You're helping people get through the toughest time in their lives. Having help with meals or house cleaning seems like it might be so trivial, but not having to worry about those things means everything while you're going through it.
WEST CHESTER, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
My Pink Ribbon Girl's journey began December 18, 2020, when I was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer. Following my diagnosis, I had my first surgery on January 18, 2021. Afterwards, I received my first round of chemotherapy treatment on February 2, 2021. This was soon followed by a second round of chemotherapy treatment on March 11, 2021.
One of my nurses told me about PRG's services, and I began using their healthy meals and rides to treatment. I look forward to my Sunbasket delivery because the meals are so tasty. I am so appreciative of the dependability of the transportation services. The PRG drivers are are so understanding, patient, friendly and great listeners.
I am fighting one of the toughest battles that a person can face, and the support I receive from PRG is crucial in my cancer battle.
I feel like it's one of the better organizations because you can actually see what they are doing in the community. You can actually feel the impact. They do what they claim to do.
FAIRFIELD, OHIO | BREAST CANCER
I initially learned of Pink Ribbon Girls while in the changing room in the breast center at the hospital. On the back of the door, a PRG sticker caught my attention. That same day, I went home and looked up the PRG Facebook page. After being diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, I began to follow the Facebook page and learned what PRG was doing in the community.
In the beginning, I only used the peer support services. However, after my second surgery, I started using the healthy meal services as well.
I have a great support system with my family and friends, still at times, I would feel alone. PRG gave me a community of women who understood the journey of active treatment and survivorship. They listened when I needed someone to listen. Gave me encouragement and positivity. I treasure the network of women and sisterhood. Following my battle, I begun using the mentoring services. I even went on to become a mentor and ambassador for PRG myself.
Pink Ribbon Girls is one of those organizations that you want to get involved with. They are providing comfort to people who need it. They bring the joy and laughter back with sisterhood and activities. They are giving patients the support that they need. They do so much.
VERONA, KENTUCKY | BREAST CANCER
I was diagnosed in early 2020 as things were beginning to emerge with COVID. I began searching online for a local support group and came to virtual meet the amazing Jan Middleton from Pink Ribbon Girls. I used PRG for peer support (and lots and lots of it!) since I was diagnosed early on in the pandemic and was desperately searching for a community to lean on.
Besides the love and support of my family and friends, receiving peer support through PRG is what truly helped get me through a very tough time mentally. I honestly struggled with my diagnosis, especially during a pandemic, as I felt I should have been at work as a nurse at local Cincinnati hospital alongside my coworkers caring for those sick with COVID. A caregiver by nature, I don't do well with accepting help, and more than anything, a BFF who is a survivor along my PRG friends showed me it was okay to ask for help and to never feel guilty about it.
PRG says quite often, No One Ever Travels This Road Alone, and there are no truer words when it comes to the support offered by the PRG staff and group! I truly cherish the friendships I have created because of PRG.
Thank you to all the supporters or PRG. Your generosity impacts an amazing group who gives back to our community. If it was not for your support, many survivors would not get the extra care needed to fight breast or gynecological cancers. Your support allows them to reduce the stress of worry when it comes to meals or rides to treatment and help them connect with others who have been on this journey for additional love and friendship.