Profile: Gina Andrews
Gina Andrews, mother, breast cancer survivor, advocate, speaker, and entrepreneur. Gina uses her own experience with breast cancer to be a voice for young survivors and bring awareness to women under the age of 40.
Gina was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, when she was 31, six days after delivering her first and only child. She endured a year of extensive treatments and surgery, all while raising her infant son and coming to grips with what had happened to her and her family.
Throughout this ordeal, Andrews discovered there were limited resources for women battling this disease, specifically for those under the age of 40. She found that a lot of women felt overwhelmed at the lack of resources available regionally. This inspired her to create and run the nonprofit organization in 2007, Sacramento Breast Cancer Resource Center, which served as an outlet center for women to receive hope, support, and numerous resources as they battled the disease.
Andrews' reputation and determination to make a difference was paramount in receiving a grant from Susan G. Komen to fund the "Young Awareness Program." Along the way, Andrews became an advocate of inspiration and strength. She has been profiled on local television news segments and newspapers, as well as an invited guest speaker at group functions and events, which brought additional exposure to the resource center and fundraising events that Andrews helped create and coordinate.
A key element she discussed in her television appearances was the importance of early breast cancer detection, especially in women under the age of 40. Andrews has been asked in recent years by local politicians to testify at the California State Capital on behalf of the health care bills concerning breast cancer. In November 2009, Andrews was honored in Atlanta, GA as one of eight national “Pink Power Mom” breast cancer winners.
Currently, Andrews strives to promote early breast cancer detection, bring awareness to young women, and raise funds to donate to charities that provide breast cancer services through her new company, SaveRBoobies. Its mission is to create a breast cancer apparel line and accessories to donate proceeds to breast cancer charities and early screening for women.
Life is unpredictable so accept and embrace the changes in life because you never know what to expect.
Many blessings in life are sadly taken for granted. You will never understand how precious life is until you face a life-threatening disease. I discovered this after being diagnosed with breast cancer six days after giving birth to my first child. I truly believe God sent me my son to spare my life because He had a great plan in store for me.
I learned that we experience trials and tribulations to learn life lessons. We can either sulk in our misery or grow from the experiences and help others. Had I not struggled through a devastating disease, I would not have the opportunity to give back to my community and help other women.
We can not foresee what life throws at us. Rather, we can do our best to be prepared and ready to adapt to change. Embrace the times that seem to be negative and turn them into positive experiences. Through tough times comes good times, as rainbows shine after thunder storms.
My favorite movie quote is from the movie, Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get.” That is the perfect analogy describing my life. I never dreamed that my mission would be to help women with cancer. At such a young age, I battled and survived the disease and have made a career out of helping others with breast cancer.
We do not know how long our life will be, so make every moment count. Working hard to keep up with the Jones is no way to live. Time is so precious. We measure time by how fast our kids are growing up. I wish life could be much simpler, but the daily grind does not allow for that.
Take time out of your busy duties and responsibilities to focus on your family and friends. Remember that each member is special and together, all members form the family. Keep in touch with new and old friends, for they each hold unique purposes in your life. Value and honor those who have done good to you, and let this be encouragement for you to go and help others. Maintain meaningful relationships with those around you and let them know how much you appreciate them. A simple thank you can make a person’s day.
The road of life is so unpredictable. There are bound to be bumps in the midst of the smooth pavement. What is laid out for us today may not be the same tomorrow. Go ahead. Take the yellow brick road to see what you will find…Company: Save R Boobies
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