Cancer touched my life at a really early age. My mother passed away from breast cancer when I was three. She was diagnosed when she was 34 and she was gone a year and a half later. Her mother, my grandmother, also passed away from the same strain of cancer, but it was ovarian cancer. With a strong family history of an aggressive cancer, I decided to get the BRACA blood test done in the fall of 2017. I found out I was positive for the BRACA 1 gene, which affects both the breasts and the uterus. Now. What the fuck to do? What are the options? What does any of it mean? Where do I start? The whole process is overwhelming and scary. I was terrified that I would also miss out on the opportunity to watch my baby grow up.
Now one of the first things that came to my mind, was money. How the fuck am I gonna pay for this? How much does it cost? Will insurance cover this? What does my policy cover? What about doctors visits? I have to go every six months for scans and check ups of all kinds of lady parts. Shit adds up. I’m in that income range that so many of us fall into. I don’t make enough money to really cover what I need to do, yet I make too much money to qualify for help. Our system fails us here. And I get it, its truly hard to make something work for every single person out there. That’w when I kinda started thinking, what can I do? What is out there for me? And if there’s nothing that can help me, can I do something that might one day help others? Enter: Taking the Helm.
I wanted to create something that could help anyone who truly needed it, regardless of what your financial records may say that you have. I wanted there to be some sort of first come first serve basis. I wanted there to be limited, if any at all, financial requirements to qualify for help. Because we all need a little help in desperate times. As I spoke these wants to my nearest and dearest they were like, dude, you’re gonna have to have some sort of perimeters for people to qualify, otherwise its gonna be a shit show. I know, I know, wishful thinking that it could just be free money to give out to anyone with some cancer bullshit affecting their lives. But it made me push further, and think outside of the box.
I said to myself, self, how do I make this work? How can I help people the way that I want to help people? I still don’t have all the answers yet, but I am getting further along. This is not a full fledged non-profit yet, but I am hoping that with hard work I can start setting up the guidelines for how this can work.
So that, my friends, is what this little party is all about. I want to help. I want to support. I want people to know they’re not alone. If you’re reading this and are like, hell yeah I want to know more or what I can do to help or support, then shoot us an email! We would love to connect with you, hear your story, and grow the supportive community for Taking the Helm.
You can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org