A few months back, I had the pleasure of interviewing local merchant Amanda Grant of Amanda Grant Skin Care. I had received several emails from her clients stating that Amanda was such a valued merchant and an even better human being. As with most of my business blogs, I tend to shy away from personal questions and try to focus more on the business. My goal with the North Kingstown Blog has always been to focus on the positive news this community and this state has to offer. However, the reality of life is that there is hardship and sadness and a cause for concern. And this is where the community of North Kingstown and Rhode Island and humanity need to do what they can to try and help one of their own. One of their own, like Amanda Grant.
Amanda sent me a link to her Go Fund Me page, Amanda’s Double Mastectomy Surgery, and asked if I would share it. My first reaction was, of course, concern based on the title of the page. She has written a heartfelt message to her clients, family, and friends that everyone who has been to her clinic and/or watched her with her son Jack should read. The decision to donate is voluntary of course. But please read the message, several times if you have to, and share with others who may be going through what Amanda is experiencing. By the way, as of this morning, she is just over halfway to her goal. Good luck Amanda. Here are some excerpts from her message:
“I booked my routine physical with mammogram and so began my journey. I received a call not shortly after that something was suspicious but not to worry. Calcifications were all too common.
So I had another mammogram and 2 ultrasounds.The radiology department at the hospital I was having the procedures at still couldn’t produce results.The concern was in my left breast. I called Ellie and told her I wanted to b-line to Women and Infants for an answer. She agreed and also said she could recommend a hospital in Boston. Due to lifestyle and circumstance,I chose to stay closer to home. I headed up to the Breast Health Center and began my tests. After the first mammogram there,the physician/surgeon told me both breasts were riddled with cysts.”
“My family history was strong enough for my physician to order a BRCA test. I met with the genetic team on Tuesday,4/19. We spoke for over an hour and I had my blood taken. The gene counselor told me she had spoken with the physician,who also performs the potential surgery and they both agreed surgery was the best option despite not yet having the results from the genetic blood test. When I met with my doctor last Monday,I felt more like a human being rather than just a breast at this point. She wanted to discuss her opinion,find out about my lifestyle so we could determine the best course of action.Which needed to be immediate. I told her I was a single Mom to my 4 year old son,Jack.I owned my own business,had animals to care for and barely had time to brush my teeth. She understood as she had a young family herself. The road was to go left or right in terms of treatment. Radiation,medication,more mammograms,more MRI’s,more biopsies.Or I could have both removed,as my left breast was full of cysts.The threat would be a constant.”
“I have fought many personal battles in the past and conquered with the help of others. I also realized at the times I did reach out,I received help. I spoke with a client who I knew battled breast cancer last week.She and a close friend offered many suggestions.One of those suggestions was to finally ask for help financially.I didn’t know anything about Go Fund Me.When I discovered I would have to risk the vulnerability of exposing my identity and the story of the journey,I was opposed to say the least. I did not want to expose this.I am less than gracious when people have asked to help me in the past,insistent only I need to fight my battles. I have learned many lessons in my life through the most painful experiences,some self inflicted,others circumstantial,and others,I believe,gifts from a power greater than myself. This seems to be another lesson. To trust, to ask, to receive, to let go of pride and ego so I can literally, survive this one.”
To read more of Amanda Grant’s story, please visit her Go Fund Me page at Amanda’s Double Mastectomy Surgery.