You Don’t Have to Walk the Journey Alone

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You Don’t Have to Walk the Journey Alone

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Nobody has to face #cancer alone, there is help available:

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 1:20pm

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG Helping Individuals


Stories like Melissa’s are why it’s more important than ever for LIVESTRONG to continue providing free programs and services to people facing cancer. Your generous support makes it all possible. And, when you make a gift today, your dollars will DOUBLE thanks to a matching gift challenge from the Shine Foundation. Your $25 gift becomes $50…your $100 gift becomes $200…even your $1,000 gift will become $2,000, all the way up to $25,000! Please donate now and share Melissa’s story with your friends and family.

My name is Melissa Gilley and I am 58 years old. I’ve been married to my husband, Gary, for 41 years and we have two daughters, Rhiannon Barker and Ashley Wilson. We also have three grandchildren, Harold Grey, Lillian and Lydia. I was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer in November of 2014.

I was very blessed that my daughter Ashley is employed by LIVESTRONG. I was immediately made aware of the various services provided by the organization. In a matter of days, a patient navigator contacted me. The nurse assigned to my case answered all my questions and helped explain the different types of cancer and what type treatment I would most likely have. They offered assistance in insurance questions, different types of chemo and medications. Lots of my fears and concerns of the unknown journey ahead were made much more clear, as was the expected plan concerning not only my treatment, but what my chances of survival were to overcome this dreaded disease. I was also made aware of grants that were available for my specific type of cancer. I was very blessed to benefit from a $5,000 grant that helped pay for medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. The LIVESTRONG family not only quieted my fears, but helped in so many other ways during the year and a half after my diagnosis and treatment.

After I completed my chemo and 30 days of radiation, Ashley asked if they rang the bell upon my completion. Unfortunately, at the facility where I took treatment, they did not. Surprisingly, the wonderful LIVESTRONG family rang bells for me. There are no words to express how special I felt, and that someone recognized the journey I had completed and celebrated with me. Also, after my completion of treatment I received beautiful emails from everyone at LIVESTRONG. Each letter was from the heart and very encouraging. Cancer is a horrific disease and such a scary journey. It meant so much to know that I was never alone and that there were resources available when needed.

Over the last year and a half I have come in contact with lots of people facing cancer. I make a point to share the advantages and resources provided by LIVESTRONG. It makes such a difference to know there are people out there to help and walk with you through the days ahead.

I would tell others facing the cancer journey that there is help available. We are blessed to live where healthcare is available and where there’s progress every day in finding a cure. And because of organizations like LIVESTRONG, you don’t have to walk the journey alone.

Thankfully I have completed treatment, had a clear mammogram in March and fully intend to live the rest of my life “CANCER FREE“. I will always feel very blessed to be associated with LIVESTRONG and have a beautiful family that encouraged and supported me and a large group of friends and family that continuously lifted me up in prayer. I will forever be grateful and give God all the glory for providing all I needed to face and conquer the scary journey of breast cancer.

LIVESTRONG is a wonderful family of caring people that provides help and resources for those facing cancer. Our family is extremely blessed to be associated with the company on a personal level, but the same help is available for all those out there facing the journey of cancer. I will forever be grateful for their help and encouragement as I faced the scariest time of my life.

Sincerely and with much love and gratitude,

Melissa Gilley