Awareness: SO Hope


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I’m always on the look out for inspiration and encouragement to pass on to the readers of my site…this is “relateable” to so many who have either been diagnosed with a cancer or have been with family members during the trying times of dealing with this disease.
Mission: So hope was founded to help educate, bring awareness, give support and Hope to cancer patients, survivors, and their families.
Purpose: to encourage our young sisters/brothers to be proactive with the health of their breast. To take precaution, ask the hard questions, and have the best treatments that are necessary to live a full empowered life.
Honestly I am just Midwest girl with a passion to help, educate, inspire, and give hope to others to live their lives to the fullest with no regrets.
I am a mother, wife, business woman, author and journalist. My newest role, as of this summer, became that of a 30 year old breast cancer patient, advocate, and founder of SO Hope. Just recently I was part of an awesome team that launched a photo campaign for Breast cancer called Think Pink in Mike O Mag e-magazine.

So Hope was created after I was diagnosed, because I realized that there was not many avenues, beyond my family, for support for my age group. When going through a traumatic experience, that puts you in a position to face your own mortality.  As much as you love your family and friends, you need someone who can identify with your situation. I was going through things emotionally, the doctors and their tests were working my nerves, and I was tired. Well family tells you to stay calm and be positive, which is fine, but is that realistic?  When you are being poked, prodded, told what to do, and have so much information thrown at you that your head is spinning, being positive is not the first thing on your mine.

So Hope was created for several reasons: One reason was to be a place of education.  When I was diagnosed I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on.  No one in my family had breast cancer, so I’m thinking how the heck did I get it. Little did I know that ovarian cancer is linked to breast cancer, and two members of my family, were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was totally ignorant about this hidden danger. What ultimately saved my live is that I did self breast exams all the time, and almost daily now, so when I found the lump I knew something wasn’t right. I decided then, that I did not want anyone else to be caught off guard like that if I could help it.

Secondly it also serves as an outlet.  I wanted it to be a place of refuge. If you are mad, unleash it. If you need encouragement come on over, need a sister or brother to pray with you, we got it.  If you need some information, we got that for you too. Right now SO Hope is just a Facebook page, but it means so much to me and my Hopefuls!  Some of the stories that have been shared with me, have brought me to tears, but I thank God that they are comfortable enough to share their most intimate moments with me. I make it my business to answer every last message, and every question.  I try to like every comment, and respond, but the outpour is so awesome, that it sometimes get away from me.

So Hope is more than a page, it has become a movement. We should always to keep Hope in the forefront of our lives, and if we meet someone with it out, then we need to give them a reason to have some. The future of So Hope is bright, don’t be surprised if you see our name on the side of a building soon!

To hear more of Darlene’s story, click here:  http://www.mikeomag.com/2012/october
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