We realize few of you know Schwenksville, PA resident, Janet Aguilar. But we're willing to bet the majority of the women you know are just like her. Career and family women with steady incomes and good jobs... living in nice neighborhoods, able to meet all the responsibilities of life with few challenges and keep the occasional curve balls under control.
Janet's story is especially poignant for... well... for everyone. And it demonstrates the sheer reach, depth and power of the dollars you give so generously in support of the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate.
For years, Janet and her husband, Mike, were living life happily and comfortably, running a successful Re/Max agency in Harleysville, PA. Then, in 2009, the family scored the trifecta of challenging times: the economy delivered a blow to the real estate industry... the Aguilars had to tighten their belts and stop paying out-of-pocket for health insurance... and Janet was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer.
Janet and Mike knew they could ride out the storm of their real estate business. However, the Aguilar family didn't hold much hope for weathering the wrath of a disease that takes 1,252 lives every day.
However, hope and healing did come to Janet and her family - driven by the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate Community Grants Program and the Drexel University College of Medicine Women's Health Project. Through the Project, funded by The Affiliate, Janet received complete care and treatment, including four months of chemotherapy, lumpectomy and radiation. A journey that started on November 2009 took a celebratory turn in August 2010, when Janet had her last treatment.
"When I was told I needed to have a biopsy, I had no clue," said Janet. "I called the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate and spoke to Elaine (Grobman, CEO). She helped me figure out how to cope with the process ... The Affiliate helped me finally feel hopeful that I could beat this disease, that I wasn't alone."
Since its inception in 2002, the Drexel Women's Health Project has been funded by the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate and achieved great things for women in need, successfully diagnosing and treating over 50 cases of breast cancer and providing more than 5,000 screening mammograms, 1,000 diagnostic mammograms, 1,000 breast ultrasounds, and 250 breast biopsies.
After attending the 2012 Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure, Janet made a beeline to be with her daughter for the birth of her grandson, followed by the June wedding of her oldest daughter and a mini-getaway with her husband.
"All of these things - all of this happiness - is possible because of the generous people and supporters of the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate."
Pictured: Janet at the 2012 Race for the Cure, wearing a photo in memory of her mother, who passed away of cancer in 1997.