In 2013, after multiple opportunities to partner with local families, Ava’s officially launched the “Ava’s Bake-a-Wish” program to help families raise funds, awareness, and support during difficult times directly related to medical emergencies and illnesses.
We have decided it is time to relaunch the program and open Ava’s Bake-a-Wish right here in North Carolina! In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we are raising funds and sponsoring Bethany, a local mom of 3 from Winston-Salem.
Ava’s Bake-A-Wish for Bethany!
Over the past six years, Bethany has endured the tiring and lonely journey of battling breast cancer. She is a fighter and through it all has remained a constant reminder of love and hope to her three beautiful daughters. Her breast cancer, however, has continued to fight too and has spread to other parts of her body during this time. Bethany needs our love, support, and funds more than ever as she continues to battle back against cancer.
Please join us as we help Bethany through Ava’s Bake-A-Wish Campaign by donating directly to Bethany with this link: http://spot.fund/2LcrKJ – Every donation counts towards our goal and Bethany will receive the proceeds directly!
PLUS, proceeds from our delicious Pink Ribbon Cookies sold in our Winston-Salem and Clemmons stores, as well as online for national shipping, will go directly to Bethany too. Please stop in our Clemmons or Winston-Salem stores or shop online to get your cookies and join us as we help this amazing mom!
I first felt the lump when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, Edyn. The doctor thought it was a clogged milk duct, so I didn’t have any testing or scans until five months later. I was officially diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on December 22, 2015, at the age of 31. Then, I endured a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, hysterectomy (because the cancer was hormone positive), and hormone therapy. I was told I was in remission in August 2016. With the fear of a re-occurrence always in the back of my mind, I tried to put “cancer” behind me and move on. After all, I had 3 girls to raise, so the cancer was history.
It Came Back
On September 20, 2018, I had a yearly PET scan which revealed that the cancer had returned. My nightmare was back, but this time I was fighting for my life. At 33 years old, I was told I had terminal stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer has spread to my bones and possibly my stomach. At first, I cried. The fear of my three girls not having me was very real. My baby is 3 years old, and my oldest is only 9. They still need me for many, many years. After about 20 minutes of tears and falling to my knees praying, I felt a great sense of peace.
In the back of my mind, I heard something a friend once told me, “Fear not.” Brad Jones, a dear friend, told me that God commands us one thing more than anything else and that is to “fear not,” as God has got this. Now I am still human and sometimes the fear comes creeping up and I pray. It’s not a fear of cancer or dying, but a fear of my babies not having me. God alone is my refuge and God is what’s allows me to have this inner peace I can’t explain. I don’t cry! While I worry, I do not do so enough to cry. I surround myself with friends and family. My three daughters, ages 3, 8, and 9 help by keeping me very busy. I also have learned to not sweat the small stuff.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness really puts things into perspective. I rarely stress. God has provided every step of the way. Treatments are very expensive. I’m doing holistic as well as conventional medicine and it’s extremely expensive, but God has always provided. It’s amazing to sit back and let HIM handle it all. Who am I to doubt the almighty physician? So, God uses my friends, family, and complete strangers to help me and provide for me.
What This Year Has Held
On January 28, 2021, all I can say is ‘when it rains it pours’. I’ve been tested to the ends of the earth. The last few days have been oh so rough and testing. You would think with all the cancer that has popped up and disappeared just to pop up again that nothing would surprise me, but I was thrown a really rough one this time. Shew, it’s been many tears, prayers, more tears, the “why me”, getting into self, being selfish, not having enough trust in God, worrying about finances and even more worries. I can honestly say that with God my friends have carried me through this one 100%.
I’ve hit some real bad lows and it scared me. Who knew cancer could spread to your mouth? Seriously, who knew my heart could hurt so bad? I mean who thought I would be sued over medical bills I’m trying to pay? Who knew you could lose everything trying to live? It’s just not right. Thank you to the ones that have been my rock when I couldn’t stand anymore. I’m so sorry for all the babies having to fighting cancer. Plus, I’m sorry for all the tears. I’m sorry for complaining about my finances and not having enough money. Thank you for the prayers and please keep them coming. Please let my parents have their peace dealing their own way!! Cancer hurts, it expensive and lonely. Thank you to everyone that’s helped me throughout this experience.
In September 2021, my last scan showed tumors on my esophagus, spine, hips, thighs, and pelvis. In the previous month, I had just a few tumors, but this recent scan showed my bones themselves are covered with tumors. The biopsy from the new tumors showed that I now have a completely different type of breast cancer. It has to be treated completely different then the hormone positive breast cancer in the past. I will be back on IV chemo in a few days. My esophagus is a miracle as the biopsy revealed absolutely nothing is there! Praise God. Being on chemo as a single mom scares me but I know God will take care of me and my girls.