Sharica was born with a health condition and depends on her sister, Mary, to manage finances, provide transportation, and make big decisions. As adults, Sharica and Mary have always attended appointments together, and Mary sees to it that Sharica has everything she needs. However, Sharica's breast cancer diagnosis this year took Mary's responsibilities, and Sharica's care, to a whole new level.
Beyond tending to Sharica's typical daily needs, Mary took on administering medications, accompanying Sharica to treatments, and taking care of Sharica's 16- and 7-year-old children. Mary also helped Sharica adjust to diet changes and begin the use of natural products and exercise. But Mary discovered that physical and logistical support wasn't all her sister needed.
Sharica doesn't show much emotion, and it wasn't until she was asked a question at an appointment that Mary found out her sister was scared. Mary knew that confidence would be essential during Sharica's treatment. She wanted her sister to be involved in a positive group setting so that she was surrounded by empowering people. That's when a nurse navigator at Novant Health told her about Carolina Breast Friends.
"We're just at the beginning of our breast cancer journey with CBF at our side," says Mary. "Just the presence of The Pink House and the atmosphere created by the staff was very welcoming. My sister was very grateful when we left after our first visit and looks forward to getting involved in the group sessions and building a relationship with the mentor CBF is finding for her."
Says Mary, "I can truly say this journey is bringing us closer together. Although I've been there for her, I now relate to her on a deeper level."
*Sharica (left) and Mary (right) are pictured here after they both shaved their heads when Sharica's treatment began.