Susan Bumgarner has lost her fight with inflammatory breast cancer. A friend through the internet and the ibc-support list, Susan was always ready with an encouraging word. She and her husband Warren were strong examples of the incredible bond that partners bring to fighting this dread disease, and of the love that will survive anything.
Susan was an incredible support to newbies and others fighting IBC; a quick search of the archived list revealed to me just how extensive that support really was. She was always there, with a reassuring word, a datum, a supporting laugh. She kidded with us about our disappearing eyebrows, and she reassured those who wrote in the midst of a panicked night. She did her share of activism and articles, and she fought bravely and without hesitation.
She passed away at MD Anderson this morning, with her husband at her side.
In her memory and her honor, I’d like to give a nod to some organizations that are helping other people with cancer, in hopes that maybe someone out there searching for help today will find it.
Food and Friends prepares, packages, and delivers meals and groceries for people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Cleaning for a Reason will help with the cleaning aspect. Got cancer? You may be able to get help via regular maid service, to help with one of the most time-consuming and impossible tasks on the list during chemo. Other groups I’ve only just heard about (from the ibc-support list) who provide free or reduced cost maid service for those who can’t clean are You’ve Got It Maid and IJCSA.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation helps out with all kinds of diagnostic and treatment expenses for cancer patients. And, as you probably know if you’ve seen those kickly little signs around the internet, the Breast Cancer Site funds free mammograms.
Locks of Love is still around, gals, and gratefully accepting those ponytails that you’re aching to get rid of. They use them to make new hair for little kids who have lost theirs due to chemo treatments or disease. In fact, I’ve got a post coming up tomorrow about a litttle girl and her mom who got haircuts together this winter, and who sent their hair off to help make other kids happy. I can’t think of a better reason to cut one’s hair, can you?
All kinds of PEAple are getting involved in the fight against breast cancer, with the brand-new, internet-initiated Frozen Pea Fund that was begun to honor our twitter-friend Susan Reynolds and give her strength to help her fight her own cancer.
Every time I think I’m nearly done talking about cancer, I am reminded that none of us can fully put cancer behind us or away from us; cancer will strike 1 in 3 of us over our lifetimes, so we must be aware. Now … have you done your breast self-exam this month?
Edited to add: I’ve just received news that Christine Buerger, who went by “Hoosier Hottie” on the IBC support list, has also passed away. I didn’t know her like I did Susan and Norma and Ursel, but she was a friend to many on the list, and it is always difficult to hear of another loss. Please do your breast self-exam today, and call your doctor if ANYTHING is different in one breast than the other. Please? For me?