At the age of 31, Marjie, a high school robotics team mentor and engineering professional, was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer. “I went into the doctor’s office and I was the third person he had told (they had cancer) that day, but I was also the youngest.” Marjie had a strong support system at home with her husband of more than eleven years, as well as a dedicated group of family and friends. It was not until the day she was given some surprising news from her doctor that she recognized she needed the support of others that would understand what she was going through. “What brought me here was that I was told at the age of thirty two that I wouldn’t be able to have kids.” This news brought Marjie through the bright red door of Gilda’s Club where she was able to join the Young Adults Group as well as the Rack Pack, a breast cancer support group for women in their twenties and thirties.
“It’s been great coming here. The friends I have made and being able to help someone who is going through what I went through is amazing.” She has not only been able to support others as they cope with similar struggles and news, but she also appreciates having a comfortable place to deal with the ups and downs of cancer. “Here you are around people who always understand. When you come here and are not feeling like yourself, you don’t have to explain.”
Her positive attitude and sense of humor have helped her along her journey with cancer. Marjie has been able to continue to work and even found time to take some little vacations during her treatment. She has also used the insight she gained from her experience at Gilda’s Club to start a non-profit for young adults with cancer who would like to check items off their bucket lists. Marjie continues to live her life with a positive attitude. “Being here and talking with everyone, I have come to realize that I am one of the lucky ones.”