In January 2020 my grandmother, Joanne, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Joanne, in addition to being a fantastic Gram, is and has been a part of YakAttack for a couple of years as one of our top packaging technicians. She helps in packaging YakAttack product as well as doing some minor assembly.
You hear the word "cancer" a lot, but there's nothing to prepare you for exactly how scary that word can be. As Gram started treatment, the doctors were optimistic, but nothing can quell the waves of fear that accompany cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation, doctor visits scheduled two or three times a week - it's scary stuff. As scary as the news and treatment was, doctors remained optimistic about her results, and my grandmother is now cancer free!
Throughout this entire journey, I learned a lot from her:
Firstly, and most importantly, I learned how brave and tenacious my grandmother is. Her determination and high spirits throughout her treatment was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not only did she have high spirits, she was working from home! More often than not, I would help get packaging together to send her, think it would be enough for a couple of days, and receive a phone call that evening from her asking for more work. She never complained, and she never let it get her down.
Secondly, I was hit with the importance of family. Too often it's easy to allow work and stress to take over to the point where you're too busy to call, but it's too important to not. As awful as it was, the cancer was an opportunity to re-realize the importance of seeing grandparents and spending time with loved ones.
I'm thankful we as a company get the opportunity to support those affected by breast cancer, and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate my grandmother and her recovery in this way as well.