As part of Hockey Fights Cancer, the New York Islanders are giving voice to you. If you, or a loved one has been impacted by cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Please send along submissions to Ann.Rina@newyorkislanders.com. Today, Bert shares a story about his wife, Laura.
My wife Laura, who is a huge Islanders fan, and I got married in the summer of 2011. When we got back from our honeymoon, she went for her routine checkup like she always had, but the doctor noticed a lump and wanted to check it out.
Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer leaving us stunned and devastated. She was only 25 so nobody thought that was possible. Well, we were wrong. Doctors said she might want to think about having a double mastectomy to be aggressive about the situation. It wasn't until two years later we found out that she had the bra-ca gene since our insurance company did not cover the tests.
My wife went through chemotherapy shortly after her surgery, losing her hair along with the other side effects from treatment. Here's the inspiring part of the story. Laura is a pre-k teacher at Head Start, a low-economic school on eastern Long Island. She worked almost immediately after her surgery and never let her setback (as she would like to call it) interfere with her life. She was always positive and never complained. She's a warrior and always showed everyone that she was going to beat this and do it with pride. There were days where she went to work.... left work to go get chemo and then went back to work to finish up. I was there every time and her strength gave me strength.
I'm glad to report that four years later she is cancer-free, her hair has grown back, and she’s happy and tough as ever before. My wife is something special and every man and woman that is or has gone through this fight is a hero. They are fighters and are deserving of recognition.
I really want my wife to be recognized for her bravery and to stand for a symbol of hope and inspiration for all women who are currently fighting or who have fought. To be recognized by the Islanders organization, her favorite team would mean the world to her. Her advice to anyone who is going through similar situations would be to stay positive, lean on others when you’re tired and need support, and stay tough. If you do that you always win! Yes! Yes! Yes! Let's Go Islanders and thank you for the opportunity to share my wife's story.