Nominated by her husband John
Everyone needs a friend to lean on when things get tough and my wife Kristen has always been THAT friend who people reach out to for sound advice when things are unbearable at home/work or when they find out someone dear has taken ill or when they simply have no one else to turn to because of fear of judgement. Kristen provides sage advice because she has been through a lot growing up and is happy to share her experiences for the benefit of others.
After a trying childhood and a terrifying first marriage, Kristen and I fortunately found each other in early 2007. We married after a 2 year courtship and were thrilled to officially blend our families. Together we shared 5 young children and were completely focused on raising the “Brady Bunch”. In late 2017 Kristen was diagnosed with breast cancer; her primary concern was to not let it affect the kids, three of which were seniors in high school and one who was a senior in college. Never one to show ANY pain, be it physical or emotional, she was adamant that the kids did not remember their senior year in school as the year that mom went through chemo. And she succeeded. The community gathered around our family and proceeded to bring meals for a consecutive 5 months, to ensure we were taken care of during the brunt of the chemo. I believe this is all attributed to the way the community feels about Kristen.
As Kristen re-built her strength after treatment, yoga was a big part of her recovery and became her physical and emotional “happy place”. Having accumulated 25 surgeries (not all cancer-related), yoga is one of few physical activities that she can do without undo pain.
Living with “no evidence of disease” isn’t the same as being “cancer free” or being “in remission”. Any unexplained ache or pain could indicate return of the dreaded “C”. Kristen is not the type of woman who would reach out to others for emotional support, but spending a weekend with others and seeing how they cope with living in constant fear of re-occurrence would be exceptionally healing and beneficial.
To the woman who has spent most of her adult life being there for others, I’d like to nominate my loving wife, Kristen, as a Cancer Kicking Cowgirl, to attend the 2020 Cowgirl vs Cancer Retreat.