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I was diagnosed in early September 2016 after finding a lump during a self-exam.  Over the next fourteen months, I underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and chemo-related therapies and reconstructive surgeries. During that period of time I lost my hair, my eyebrows and my eyelashes, and I realized that although the physical assault from treatments was difficult, the emotional assault was beyond anything I could describe. Cancer is not just a battle, it is an all-out-war.

Despite my diagnosis, I considered myself fortunate. I was able to afford treatments that were not covered by insurance. I could do things like purchase a high quality human hair wig, have reconstructive “tweaking” and go weekly to Smilow Cancer Hospital for treatment without worrying about paying for parking. I had a spouse that could be home to help take care of our daughters, and I did not have to work during treatment. When treatment was completed at the end of 2017, I started looking back and I realized if I had gotten a cancer diagnosis twenty years earlier when my husband and I were first married, it would have financially bankrupted us! At that time we were strained financially, just as many people’s bank accounts are strained today.

I founded Infinite Strength to help those that not only struggle with the disease but also struggle financially. Our mission is to make medical treatments more accessible for all breast cancer patients and to offset costs that are not always covered by insurance, but can make all the difference in the healing process, both physically and emotionally.

The body and the mind need to work together to heal. A strong, positive attitude can lead to a strong, healthy body. The overall stress a cancer diagnosis puts on patients is tremendous. They should not have to carry a financial burden or pass on treatments that can help them feel better about themselves.

Researchers have not found a cure yet, but together, we can offer patients the opportunity for a better cancer treatment experience. And most importantly, we can offer them our strength!

 

- Roberta Lombardi