Amber Darby is no stranger to cancer and the affect it has on families. By age 40, she had already lost her mother and brother to this terrible disease and was watching her father battle it, also. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, she knew she was facing the most difficult battle of her life. But, being a single mom with three kids depending on her, she knew she had to win the battle. “I needed to fight for my kids,” says Amber. And, she had great faith that God would help her do just that.
When Amber turned 40, in September of 2013, she knew how important it was to have a mammogram. She wasn’t able to take off of work at the time, but a couple of months later she had her mammogram and was very thankful she did, because a lump was found. Amber had a mastectomy in November. Being a nurse, she knew that the recovery would be difficult, but what happened next she could never have expected. When she woke from the surgery, she had complete speech loss.
The doctors were unsure of what caused her loss of speech or how long it would last. Because of this, Amber had to be out of work for several extra weeks, causing her to lose her job. But, of course, the medical bills didn’t stop coming and she still had a family to provide for. Amber began researching to try and find assistance programs and was referred to Sherry’s Run by the American Cancer Society. “When Amber came into my office and began sharing her story, I knew that God had brought her to us,” says Tonyia, Director of Patient Assistance for Sherry’s Run.
“If I hadn’t come to Sherry’s Run, I wouldn’t have made it,” says Amber. Sherry’sRun provided the Darby family with gas and groceries, as well as helping with utilities. Amber was even able to have a small celebration for her daughter who was graduating from high school. “What seems so small, can mean the world,” says Amber.
After months of speech therapy, Amber’s speech has returned to normal. She is a nurse and is excited about getting back to work and back to serving her patients. “There’s no greater joy than giving my patients a reason to smile,” she says. Amber just completed her reconstruction surgery and has started back to work for an OGBYN office. “I get to help other women by telling them how important it is to get a mammogram,” says Amber. She believes that attitude is everything and that God has placed her in this new job for a reason saying, “This was all a part of God’s plan.”
“Sherry’s Run is thankful to have had the opportunity to give Amber a reason to smile again. Her positive spirit and desire to bless others has been such an encouragement to me,” says Tonyia.
Sherry’s Run joins Amber in celebrating October as Breast Cancer Awareness month. We care about you and your health! If you are 40 or over, we urge you to have a mammogram. Talk to your doctor; if you have a family history of breast cancer or have any breast cancer symptoms as you may need to be tested earlier than other women. Mammograms are the best tools doctors have to find breast cancer early. When breast cancer is found and treated early, many women go on to live a long and healthy life. Due to the recent changes in the healthcare laws many health insurance policies cover mammograms beginning at age 40, so check with your provider to see if you qualify.
Your support allows us to assist cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills, and colonoscopy assistance.
To learn more about Sherry’s Run, please call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, please call 615-925-9932 or click here for more information.