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Through our partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital, we had the opportunity to meet three amazing mother-daughter duos: Emily + Helen, Carrie + Annalise and Michella + Alyssa. We invited them to attend our recent Giving Event at Swink Style Bar in Seattle, where we provided complimentary makeovers to women of all ages from the Pacific Northwest going through cancer treatment. All three Thrivers (and their mothers) became fast friends during their visit. Afterward, we sat down to speak with each of them. Read below to learn more about this inspiring trio.
Who inspires you to Thrive?
Alyssa (daughter) + Michella (mom)
“My first “cancer friend,” Carmen, inspires me to Thrive,” said Alyssa. “I met Carmen after my first chemo session. She was about six months ahead of me in her treatment. Meeting someone my age who had already been through it made me believe that I could get through it too,” Alyssa continued. Alyssa’s mom Michella agreed. “Carmen gave Alyssa all kinds of advice during their stay at the hospital. She acted as a sort of mentor to her, and I’m so glad they found each other.”
Helen (daughter) + Emily (mom)
“I think my mom is my biggest inspiration to thrive,” Helen said. “While I was in the hospital, my mom came to visit me every day and still managed to take care of the rest of the family. She’s able to do everything— she’s like a supermom.” Emily, in turn, chose Helen as her inspiration, saying she is “constantly amazed by Helen’s incredible strength. “Helen is tougher than she looks. She never lost her sense of humor and always had a smile on her face.”
How has having cancer changed your perspective on life?
Annalise (daughter) + Carrie (mom)
“YOLO!” Annalise quickly responded. “I learned to take advantage of what I have while I have it and not to sweat the small stuff.” “You never know what’s going to happen, but when something like this does happen, you have to be strong.You just have to do what you have to do, even if that means dropping everything,” Carrie elaborated. Annalise went on to say that going through cancer treatment has made her stronger and more confident. “I even rocked the bald look in Europe last summer!” she exclaimed.
What advice do you have for fellow Thrivers going through treatment right now?
Helen (daughter) + Emily (mom)
“Most importantly, you have to believe in yourself and believe that you can get through it,” Helen says. “Focus on the present and take things as they come. Don’t stress about the future!” she advises. Emily encourages patients to take advantage of feeling good when they do, and to try to go out and do fun things. “Throughout this experience, I have learned that life is simply too short. In the end, time and money don’t really matter. Having fun while you can is what’s most important.” Alyssa’s mom, Michella, adds that “it’s really hard, but you’ll get through it. Keep a positive attitude because that's what makes the difference and makes it possible to stay strong.”
During our interviews with this group of amazing moms and daughters, we observed a common piece of advice: to try to keep a smile on your face and stay positive during treatment, proving that joy truly is the best makeup. We couldn’t agree more.