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Women in Golf - Breast Cancer Awareness Month Feature


Hi Yvonne, tell us more about yourself. 

- Hi! I’m 33 years old and married for 8 years to an amazing man! I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2A, 2 years ago. I’m currently a co-founder of a beauty salon and a financial advisor.

Tell us one thing about yourself that may surprise our readers.

I chose a bilateral mastectomy to remove both breasts as a preventative measure when I had the option to remove the cancer lump itself and preserve my own breast.

How did you get into golf?

My friends and I were looking for a new sport that we could play together and kill time when Covid hit us last year. We choose golf as we have a good friend who has been playing golf since she was young. She introduced us to the game of golf and now we are hooked!

Do you enjoy playing a sport that is usually male-dominated?

I do! It feels even better when we (ladies) play well too! Now, I have a common topic to share with my older brothers who have been playing golf for years! My husband and I took lessons together, now we have another commonly shared hobby! Golf definitely brought me closer to my loved ones. 

How is life like golf?

- Golfers may look glamorous in their attire and their swing may look effortless but it takes lots of practice and passion to get them where they are. Nothing comes easy.

Likewise, for life, nothing comes free. We have to work hard and put in the effort for a better lifestyle and better relationships with people. 

How has fighting cancer changed your perspective on life?

Cancer taught me that nothing is more important than health and spending more time with people I truly care about. 

Life can be short, so don’t fill it with negativity. 

Sometimes we can get too focused and buried in work, we forget to stop and appreciate small things like having a simple meal with family and friends. 

What advice/words of encouragement would you give young women or family members to newly diagnosed cancer patients?

Cancer is like a speed bump in life. It will slow you down but you will regain speed as soon as treatments are done.

Do not give up, because you mean the world to someone. 

Hi Michele, tell us more about yourself.

- I have been married for 33 years and have been blessed with 2 lovely kids  Galissa and Ashwyn. I am also the Retail manager of Golf and Leisure, a family-owned business.

It has been a great journey and I have been rewarded with some amazing friendships that have been formed with people that I have met in our store.

Tell us one thing about yourself that may surprise our readers.

- Golf is something I never thought that I would be a part of. Customers always ask me if I play, and the answer is No. It is my husband, Bob's, first love and  I am here to support him. It gives me great pleasure to be at home, cooking and entertaining friends.

Before I came into this industry, I was actually doing party planning for kids, and face painting was something I loved to do.

How do you think Golf and life are similar?
- Cancer and Golf are similar in some aspects, it is a mental game you need to be strong to overcome whatever is thrown at you, birdies, bad shots, and especially bunkers. You need to get out one way or another in order to get to the 18th hole, with drinks to follow.
What was your biggest self-discovery or revelation after you were diagnosed?
- I am a tough cookie. I discovered a small lump 13 years ago, just after an all-clear from a routine mammogram. It was a shock, as I was very particular about checkups as cancer runs in my family.

6 years later I had to undergo more surgery as they discovered that the medication which I had been taking had other side effects. I worked throughout my chemo and radiation cycles, not many people knew what I was going through. It was my mindset from day 1 that cancer was not taking over my life. It has been a long journey and at end of 2020, I was taken off all my medications.

How has fighting cancer changed your perspective on life?

- I lost both my parents to cancer not too long ago, it is still very hard. Cancer has taught me to be with family and friends who are genuine and who love me for being me. I surround myself with people who make me smile and appreciate me. Don't sweat the small stuff. (That's what my husband reminds me daily)

I enjoy the simple pleasures of having a drink with good friends and hanging out with my kids. Customers always see my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine after work at Harry's. That has become our time to relax, it is not easy working together all these years but we have made it work.

Like in a game of golf, we come across obstacles. What was the most difficult part of your cancer journey and how did you overcome it?

- The hardest thing that I went through was not the treatment but the insensitivity of many, passing comments about weight gain, hair loss and comments that I was not approachable without realizing that with all the medications and treatments, I had more bad days than good.

It used to bring me down but in recent times I have learned that it is "I " that matters and respect is most important.

What advice/words of encouragement would you give a  person on how to best support a loved one going thru breast cancer?

- Just be there for the person as cancer affects the whole family. It is a roller coaster ride. The home will be topsy turvy as we navigate the ups and downs.

Surround yourself with loved ones and never give up. We all need to be there for one another, most importantly everyone deals with it differently. Have a good friend also, someone that you can break down with when you need to as there are times you need to scream and shout the why me.

My final thoughts as a survivor, I have fears that cancer will come back and bite me in the butt,  Whenever it's time for tests and scans I go through a bad week until the results are out.

I always acknowledge that I have been through many difficulties which have made me a stronger person, I am able to overcome anything that comes my way as I am a fighter. I do this for my family and for ME. Most of all I am grateful, that I had wonderful people by my side.




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