It Takes a Village of Joy: Jennifer Robinson’s Story
In honor of our collaboration with BIRCHBOX, Goodshop and Youtube blogger ALLTHINGSFABULOUS101, we’re also looking towards Mother’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate self-love and care. Living Beauty and proud mother Jennifer Robinson recently shared her story with us, and we couldn’t be more inspired by her journey. The power of family, friendship and Living Beauty sisterhood brought Jennifer to a place of incredible joy. Here is her story.
My story of unravel begins at age 28. That was the year of the ultrasound “just in case” which led to a biopsy that was “surely just a precaution,” which lead to a breast cancer diagnosis.
I was a very sick, overwhelmed mother of a 2 year-old son, trying to process that I had cancer. Overnight, life morphed into a whirlwind of medical appointment after appointment, tests and procedures, waiting rooms and bills, pain of every sort, and bad news at every turn – generally, just a lot of ugliness.
Fortunately, someone recommended The Foundation for Living Beauty to me early-on. I attended my first event, a weekend retreat, in between rounds of chemotherapy. I found a family of women who were fighting the same fights and shedding the same tears and an organization who knew how to reach out with the kind of support we badly needed.
I slugged through rounds of chemotherapy, losing my hair and energy, and generally falling apart in horrible ways. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy which removed the 5.5 cm tumor that had been silently growing across my chest throughout my 20’s. I learned that I would need radiation treatment as well, that I wouldn’t be able to have the 2nd child I desperately hoped for… that maybe I wouldn’t live to raise the son I had. It’s a whole lot of ugly to process, however your story goes after being told you have cancer.
The Foundation for Living Beauty was a bright spot for me, as it is for so many. It gave me amazing and helpful events to look forward to during a time when it was hard to look forward at all.
Then, as my life did move forward and I conceived a miraculous and healthy baby girl amidst my radiation treatment – against ALL odds – the women of the foundation were there to throw me a baby shower and share my joy. My daughter’s middle name is Joy, for these women.
Not only during the depths of our struggles but also, for those of us so fortunate as to have lives that creep back toward normal, The Foundation maintains a role in being there to meet our ongoing needs. They know our struggles blanket a lifetime and so remain a long-term support for coping through physical and emotional side effects. They offer education and friendship, beauty and belonging.