I grew up in a small town where I was related to half of the community. Literally. I know who my 4th and 5th cousins are and on my mom's side...I can probably go further than that...and I don't just know who they are... I talk to them on more occasions than just family reunions.
Lee's extended family lives mostly in Arkansas...and he would see them once a year at Christmas Eve...sometimes another occasion throughout the year...but their Christmas Eve celebrations are warm and full of love and life. It's a really special time.
I've been blessed to be able to go to the Blakney/Currington Christmas events and a few other family reunions for Lee's family. And it's there that I met Stephanie Currington...another lucky girl like myself who married into this wonderful family.
Stephanie and I hit it off quickly. We both had little girls around the same age...we both had trouble nursing our little girls...we both were working through finding the balance of being a wife and a mom and having a job...just some common ground...
Stephanie impressed me so much. She is super sweet, absolutely beautiful, and athletically fit. She talked about her running and racing experiences...her training...and I just admired her so much.
We have stayed in touch through Facebook...just enough to see what is going on in each other's life and offer a little encouragement.
And earlier this year (2012), I was in shock as I read on Facebook that Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Tears filled my eyes. I couldn't believe it. She is so young, so healthy, so vibrant and full of life...she has a wonderful husband Danny (Lee's cousin) and 2 beautiful little girls...how could this be happening to her?
Then even more admiration for Stephanie developed in me. Her faith in God remained strong...I mean, really strong. When I read her posts on Facebook about doctors, appointments, tests, results, decisions, and surgery, she seemed positive and peaceful...she knew that God was in control. That is amazing to me!
I asked her if I could share her inspiring story and her team link for Race for the Cure...this is what she told me:
I would be honored if you would share my story and link for race for the cure. The only thing that is getting me through this is my faith and sharing with others my journey. I really believe God has allowed me to get breast cancer because He wants me to use this to share His word. So I want to honor that even though I don't always know what that means or how.
Amazing...she's giving God glory even though she had to (and still has to) go through such a hard, trying time...and I know that God is going to honor her for that.
Stephanie is doing great. She's recovered from the surgery well...her little girls are able to play with her, and she's even returned back to work. I'm so thankful to know someone who is so strong...not just physically or mentally, but strong in her faith.
Thank you Stephanie, for sharing your encouraging story!!!! She is more than just a breast cancer survivor...she is a breast cancer champion...
Stephanie had surgery earlier this summer, and she and her family still entered into the Race for the Cure in Tulsa. If you would like to contribute to her team, you can click here to help her reach her donation goal!
Also, if you would like to leave a comment for Stephanie, feel free to do so! I'll make sure she sees them all!!
Be encouraged! You can be a champion too!