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‘Tis the Season for Survival

Welcome back to the last leg of 2016 and our final post for the year! Just a few more weeks before we dive into a brand new year of inspiration and survival…but not so fast…we still have to battle the holiday crowds, keep up with the hustle and bustle of the season, and most importantly, enjoy it :)

And before we break for the holidays of course we have to introduce you to our final survivor for 2016, who owes her diagnosis largely to her daughter.

Sandra Charlap was vacationing in Mexico during the summer of 2014, when her daughter noticed her nipple looked different; it had become inverted. Sandra later learned that an inverted nipple can be a sign of breast cancer. She was diagnosed just weeks later.

Being Sandra’s mother was diagnosed around same age of late forties, she wasn’t shocked but notes she was definitely disappointed.

“When I learned that I would need to have a double mastectomy, I was quite sad and scared. However, I had remarkable doctors and a strong legion of family and friends around to support me.”

After toughing through six months of treatment until January 2015, today, Sandra is working a new job while her hair grows back and says she is “thriving.”

We not only love that Sandra is thriving but we also applaud her gratitude despite her recent battles.

“I’ve done a lot and experienced so much in these 50 years, and I am grateful for every minute.”

BTW we missed Sandra’s birthday back in April so a huge Eye Of The Survivor happy birthday to her!

It is very clear her experiences have shaped her and equipped her with a take-charge outlook on her life.

“My feeling is that, the hard experiences I have gone through have helped form the woman I am today," she told us. "I’ve never let a situation get the best of me.”

We kind of can’t help hear Destiny’s Child play in our heads right about now… “I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it, I will survive, keep on surviving!”

And if Sandra can pass along any inspiration she says in her words, “remember that even in your darkest days, there is time to smile.”

We’re smiling right now Sandra so thank you for that.

Before we sign off for 2016, we would like to shout out our inaugural calendar lineup one more time.

You can read their stories and inspiration in all of our previous posts and we encourage you to do just that if you missed any.

Ladies, each of you continue to inspire us and will impact us long after the year is done. Thank you for your participation in this project as we kicked things off, and thank you for becoming a part of our family here at EOTS.

To shout out our girls one more time, we’d like to thank:

  • Carol Manning, January

  • Migdalia (Mom) & Jennifer Ewens (Daughter), February

  • Betty Jean, March

  • Debby Stith, April

  • Renda Darby McLurkin, May

  • Corey Ayala-Fagundez, June

  • Edwinta Rhue, July

  • Brenda Dukes, August

  • Geeta Mitchell, September

  • Shakaira Ankrah, October

  • Susan Parés, November

  • Sandra Charlap, December

And to our 2017 calendar lineup, we can’t wait to learn about your journeys and strength of survival.

Back to our readers, we’d like to leave you all with a message of hope as we head into the New Year... a message from someone who we can all agree absolutely personifies survival, strength, overcoming obstacles, resilience, and all other things that are fierce and admirable... Miss Helen Keller.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

We probably don’t have to point this one out but if Helen Keller could keep the faith, well then so can we, right?

See you all next year!!

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