Kate's Story

“Being a mom has so many emotions tied up in this one word: “mommy”. From the first moment I knew I was going to become a mom, my life changed, just like the first moment the doctor says “you have cancer” changes your life. Being a terminal stage 4 breast cancer patient and a stay-at-home mommy both require a lot of patience, a lot of time, and a lot of unknown. Mommy to my three beautiful children Lindsay (9), Summer (6), and Blake (5), I’m filled with fear and joy every day. I’m constantly worried one of them will get hurt or sick and I want to make it all better. When the fog lifted after my diagnosis, I realized it was time to figure out how I was going to get through all of this. Very quickly I discovered there is not much in terms of support out there for young women, let alone young women with children. When I asked my hospital for help, they gave me brochures that had pictures of women who looked like my mother on the front. I’m not 65. I knew I needed people who weren’t invested personally, like my spouse, family, and friends, but knew firsthand the struggle I was facing. I needed people who looked like me. Then one day sitting in the hospital waiting room, I saw a tiny postcard pinned to the bulletin board for a Pink Pearl Foundation overnight retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A small grain of hope was planted. Even though I was so ill and barely walking, I knew I had to go and I am forever glad I did. Although I’m a mom, it’s important to take care of myself too. I met amazing women, from the volunteers, and of course, Elise the Founder, who gave me something more than hope. I was in a room full of women who understood. Many of these women are now my very close friends. Sadly, some of them have passed, which in itself, is extremely hard, but the burden is lessened with the support of my Pink Pearl ladies. I still feel nervous going to events, but within minutes I feel a sense of love. No pressure but just a personal understanding with others who share the same fears. As a mom, my number one concern is how the kids are doing. I worry that my time will run out before I have taught my three kids everything I want to. My biggest fear is that they are so young they might not remember me. But I’m trying to make memories with my children, like ones on Mother’s Day, which is such a special day that includes eating their homemade pancakes and admiring their art pieces that read, “I love my Mommy”. This Mother’s Day, my wish is to spend many more special days with my family to make these memories and celebrate being their mommy.” – Kate Fraser, Program Participant