Survivor Sherpa: step 1 to non-profit status

Today marked the formal filing for non-profit status in Louisiana. I went to the Secretary of State and gave them my paperwork and a cashier’s check! It was exhilarating and exciting and a step closer to helping people!

This is such a wonderful step to have taken. There are more, but this is the first official one.

Survivor Sherpa is coming!

Let me tell you why this is so important to me.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer Sept 11, 2018.

While the internet is a wonderful place, it has a lot of scary information out there. I don’t do internet searches on symptoms or diseases anymore because it is almost all doom and gloom with a terrible death thrown in for good measure. Books are great because you can mark them, highlight them, read them without a power cord, carry them around and refer to them easily. There really isn’t a way to ask a book or the author a question. The kind of questions that don’t come up with a doctor, or are embarrassing or only come to mind at 3 am. This is where Survivor Sherpa comes in, when you need a girlfriend to answer those types of questions.

My doctors are wonderful, and they have a ton of experience on their side of the breast cancer experience. While they are empathetic and knowledgeable, they haven’t experienced it for themselves and couldn’t really tell me how to prepare for the emotional and psychological side of things, or the physical things at home. This is where Survivor Sherpa comes in, when you need to know what is coming and how to prepare. For example: clothing alterations and support for adjusting to the new you, meal prep and home adjustments for post surgical healing, and survival kits for comfort and dealing with chemotherapy and radiation just to name a few of the things that come at you hard and fast during cancer treatment.

My caseworker was outstanding dealing with insurance and keeping me moving forward through my work and insurance side of things. Not everyone has an opportunity to have a wonderful caseworker through their insurance or workplace. Survivor Sherpa wants to help navigate through all of that in order to focus on healing, so you never have to make a choice between dealing with your family or insurance or billing or anything else instead of just focusing on your health and loved ones.

My parents raised me to fight for myself with medical professionals. I did a significant amount of research and asked questions and advocated for myself as necessary, when I didn’t have the energy or too many holes in my memory, my husband stepped in for me. Survivor Sherpa wants to empower and advocate for women in treatment who may not be as comfortable fighting for what they need or believe in so they can thrive after cancer.

I would like to open a facility, something similar to a bed and breakfast for women and their families while undergoing treatment who need a place close to the hospital to stay. It will also be a place where a primary caregiver can drop off a loved one when they go to work knowing that they will be cared for in a safe environment during the dog days of treatment side effects. A place for survivors to care for and learn from one another after treatment has ended but life has not returned to normal just yet. A place to learn the skills needed to fully thrive after cancer, or thrive while living with cancer. A haven for anyone who needs it while dealing with cancer in their life.

Today marked an important step in making all of this a reality. Please take a minute to follow this link to donate to help make this a reality https://www.supportful.com/survivorsherpa. Every bit helps to bring this to reality.

Published by survivorsherpa

I am a wife and mother to three daughters, a chemist and a breast cancer survivor. I would very much like to help others by caring and advocating for them while sharing my experiences and tips that may help to thrive during and after treatment.

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