Vice Pesident

Ronika Gorden

 

My life changed when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. Being that I was already at high risk due to age and diabetes, I did not need not one more thing to put me into a danger zone. At 7 months pregnant, I heard the one more thing that would, “you have cancer”. It was that surreal moment that you want to actually begin to chuckle out loud hysterically because you cannot believe your ears. All throughout my pregnancy doctors told me the baby was growing at a rapid pace due to the diabetes which is common. What I did not know is that this was part of the “Master’s plan” because she would have to come a month early so that I could now deal with breast cancer. I was diagnosed with Stage 2, Her 2 Negative breast cancer and it was aggressive due to my hormones from the pregnancy so they needed to induce my labor a month early so I could begin treatment. I was induced on October 12, 2015 and it was a 24-hr labor because my baby girl went into distress 3 times during labor. She was born with no complications on October 13, 2015 at a healthy 7lbs. I was so blessed. I had to leave her for nine hours to do a scan to determine if the cancer detected was the only cancer that existed since radiation and scanning was prohibited during my pregnancy. They detected no other areas. I had a left mastectomy with 3 infected lymph nodes removed 2 days after giving birth. My treatment was to follow up with chemo and radiation.  

A month later I began chemotherapy. Three months into my chemo, my home burned down and it was a total loss, materially. My family of five, newborn included, were ok so everything else seemed so trivial in comparison. What I gained from my cancer and the fire was realizing how resilient I was to endure the thorns of life. Equipped with faith, family and friends you learn what is truly important in life, and you learn to cherish each and every day and each and every moment. My cancer and my fire brought together family, friends, and strangers to my aid which showed me the best of people’s hearts during the worst time in my life. I am a true believer that God purposes us all for a reason and our struggles are what make either us or the people around us better. I know that it has made me better, more faithful, more passionate, more loving, and more fearless than ever before. I only hope that my beacon can help someone else know that today may be terrible but it does get better and there is life, love, and new possibilities beyond cancer.