A True Story of Giving Back to Someone Who Truly Deserves It

This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100% mine.

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Wow, it’s been a crazy, wild and unpredictably eventful year.  Through my blog I’ve had some pretty incredible experiences and I’m finishing off the year with one of the best yet.  I teamed up with Aflac through their holiday helpers campaign to give back to someone this holiday season.  I love the idea behind this entire campaign and am so grateful to have been a part of it.

Aflac knows that the holidays can be a particularly challenging time for people who are dealing with a serious accident or health event.  Supplemental insurance from Aflac pays cash when policyholders are sick or hurt so they can focus on recovery, not financial stress.  Families dealing with medical issues this year may need help getting into the holiday spirit, or even just taking a moment to focus on themselves rather than their health concerns.

Plus, these health issues are often crazy expensive and those affected are significantly impacted by out-of-pocket costs associated with their unexpected health event.

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Thanks to the help of Aflac, I was able to help my friend Kristina focus on enjoying time with her family and spoiling herself rather than thinking about her breast cancer.  I met Kristina years ago while we were both working at a local salon.  We bonded over our love for scented shampoo, chic hair colors and the joy we found in helping others.  Kristina has always been strong and a firm believer in everything happens for a reason.  It was through social media and a few random dinner nights that we’ve stayed in touch over the years.  I remember reading her post about cancer and thinking how strong she is to stay so positive.  I am beyond proud of her for how she has maintained this positive outlook.

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Please read Kristina’s testimony to learn more about her and what she is going through:

“In December 2015 I felt a little lump in my left breast. Not thinking too much into it, I kept an eye on it and by February 2016 it had gotten larger. I went to my family doctor to get it checked out and it was then that I was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. I remember being at the airport getting ready to board the plane on a business trip with my husband to Dallas, Texas when I got the call. I remember closing my eyes and praying “God if I have to go through this, please just let me be a testimony to someone and give me the strength each day.” On March 22, I had a double mastectomy because I am Braca 2 positive. It’s a gene that runs in the family, and I am the 5th generation that we know of.  I am also the youngest in the family being diagnosed at 28 years old. While in surgery they found more cancer in my lymph nodes under my arm. This brought me to stage 2 cancer and the doctors wanted me to do chemo and radiation.

I called Cancer Treatment Center of America for a second opinion and they wanted to do the same thing. At the time, I didn’t feel the need and decided to try the all-natural route. I was unable to do everything I needed to because of funds and things not working out as planned. I went in every 3 months for blood work to check on my stats. They were a little on the high side but nothing to worry about.

I went in for a check-up in August 2016 because I had felt another lump. With a biopsy of the lump, it confirmed the cancer was back. I immediately called Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Arizona. Since then, they found more cancer in my lymph nodes on the right side by my collar bone. This brought me to a stage 4 cancer simply because it had gone to the opposite side. When the doctor told me this, all I could think was “you have no idea how big my GOD is.”

I’ve had surgery to remove the lump and lymph nodes. I am currently in treatment. I have to do 8 sessions total of chemo. It’s every 2 weeks for 4 cycles of one type of chemo and then again every 2 weeks for 4 cycles of another. Then extensive radiation and removing my ovaries because I also tested positive for a gene called RAD 51, which puts me at high risk of getting ovarian cancer. This whole process will take up to 8 months. So far, I have had 1 chemo session.

We sold our house in August of 2015 after 1 day of being on the market in hopes to buy some land with a house. We moved in with my parents and put our foster license on hold thinking it would only be for a few months. We did find some land, but have had to wait to build our house until treatments are done. We have now been at my parent’s house for 1 year as of August. It’s hard being 29 and married moving back into your parent’s house, but I am so blessed to have such a great support system during this journey. I really don’t know what I’d do without everyone.

We have been doing respite (babysitting foster kids) for a family very near and dear to our hearts for quite some time and have absolutely fallen in love with these two little kiddos. Trevor and I have prayed about it and decided we wanted to become their foster parents in hopes to adopt them someday. We are currently waiting to see what chemo looks like before we make any decisions. God is in control and His plan is best no matter what that outcome is.”

As a way to get Kristina’s mind off the cancer and all the stress that it can cause, I teamed up with Aflac to give her a day to remember.  Her mother has been one of her strongest supporters on this journey.  To start off her special day, Kristina and her mom enjoyed brunch, shopping for earrings and a spa day!

 

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After their mother/daughter day, they got the rest of the family together for a limo ride to the Kansas City plaza.  They checked out the holiday lights, jammed out to Christmas songs and enjoyed a family dinner at a nice restaurant.

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The next day I took Kristina out for a shopping adventure! She was able to get some great items for herself and a few gifts for her foster children.  She has such a giving spirit, it’s incredible.  Buying for herself was so difficult, but I am happy I was able to help her treat herself to some great things I know she will enjoy! Plus, look how beautiful she is in her wig. It was the first day she had worn it.

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I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of  Aflac’s Holiday Helpers campaign.  Aflac knows that major medical insurance may not cover every expense related to a serious health event like cancer, so supplemental insurance like Aflac’s is there to help fill the holes and help cover those expenses that major medical may not cover.

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Check out the video I put together of Kristina’s experience, plus learn more about this inspiring, positive and amazing woman!

 

Check out the video I put together of Kristina’s experience, plus learn more about this inspiring, positive and amazing woman!

Along with the holiday and winter season comes winter sports and hobbies, like skiing. Aflac recently debuted a new ad, “Ski Patrol,” which takes a light-hearted approach to highlighting how life often throws you the unexpected and can ultimately impact you and your family’s lifestyle. The commercial reminds us to make sure we’re protecting our health and our lifestyle with help from supplemental insurance, like Aflac.

Aflac is there in your time of need – big or small. To learn more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

[Z161385P] Date12/16

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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  1. Reply

    You have the best posts. Timely and just what we need.

    1. Reply

      You are the best. Miss you so much! xo

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