In 2006, Laurie Wilson – senior vice president, Planning & Allocation and Pricing – went in for her annual mammogram, but something didn’t look quite right. More tests revealed the discovery of early breast cancer, and while the wondering and waiting were over, she realized the fight was only beginning.
“You sort of feel like you’ve lost control of your life,” Laurie said. “With so many doctors’ appointments and tests and seeing a specialist. Then waiting for results which is awful. It’s hard to deal with.”
One of the most consequential moments for Laurie happened when she decided to get a second opinion. While that decision resulted in more tests, it also offered a different course of treatment.
“To this day I thank my lucky stars because had I not taken the time to get a second opinion, I might have had a different course of treatment, which might have not been as successful,” Laurie said.
Throughout her path to recovery, Laurie found the more she spoke to friends, family, and co-workers about her disease, the more she learned she was not alone in the fight. She found many people either had experiences with breast cancer or knew someone with breast cancer.
For Laurie, she credits her husband and two young daughters for helping her cross the treatment finish line. “My girls were terrific, they said ‘Mom, you’re the rock of the family, we can’t have something happen to you,’” Laurie said. “They handled it well, they were very confident and supportive.”
She also didn’t let cancer stop her from carrying on with her life. In fact, Laurie recalls the day she came home from treatment. “We had a Halloween party that night with the girls’ friends,” she said. “I was relieved and happy to be home, in my own environment. Once it was behind me, I was able to concentrate on moving forward.”
Fourteen years later and in remission, Laurie commemorates Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October by giving to organizations like the American Cancer Society.
“The American Cancer Society is doing amazing work in research,” Laurie said. “They also provide so many resources, from programs to people you can speak to during treatment and into survivorship.”
In the United States, approximately 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Donating to organizations like the American Cancer Society is one way you can join these women, like Laurie, in the fight against the disease. This year, your donation makes double the impact, since the JCPenney Communities Foundation will match every donation – dollar for dollar – made now through Oct. 31, 2020, up to $25,000. Consider donating here.
Beyond the beauty within survivors, we also wanted to help them feel radiant and pampered on the outside. With the help of our JCPenney Salon by InStyle and Sephora inside JCPenney teams, 500 survivors who attended the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® walk in Phoenix on Saturday, Oct. 24, received a kit of beauty samples. As you’ll see in the photo gallery below, this is one surprise, the survivors at the Making Strides walk were very grateful for.