Passionately Supporting a Cause – Why?

Susan Hess

Posted on September 30 2018

When someone supports a cause passionately, you always wonder why. How were they affected? Did they have the disease? Did they lose someone? People don’t usually ask, so I wanted to share why I have a passion for raising awareness for Breast Cancer.

I am not a survivor of Breast Cancer but I am a survivor. I lost my mom to Breast Cancer when I was 15 years old. Back then there were no therapy groups to attend; no walks to walk in; and no rallying of support like we see today. It was scary. My brother, sister, and I had to find our own way. We all took different paths to deal with the loss.


From left to right: Susan's sister, Susan's mom, and Susan.

My path to dealing with my mom’s death was delayed until I was the age she was diagnosed. At age 35, I started walking in the Avon Breast Cancer walks. Every dollar I raised, every step I took, and everyone that I met along the way was part of my healing process, a way to grieve, and a way to give back. I walked in the next four Breast Cancer walks. I started in NYC, and then went to Chicago, Boston and back to NYC. I raised tons of money and met amazing women, all of whom had their own stories. I finally realized…I wasn’t alone.

This feeling of community empowered me to tell my story more often and to encourage women to get screened. I truly believe that every tragedy and every blessing in your life makes you who you are at this very moment. At this moment, I wouldn’t change a thing.

My mother died at the same age that I started my company. I always wonder… what would she have done if she had lived ten more years? What could she have done? She was a talented, smart, dynamic woman that touched my heart forever. I think she would be proud of me. That gives me the strength to keep going when things get really hard.

So, if I have anyone’s attention while I’m up on my soapbox, this is what I would say:

BE DIFFERENT. Don’t just write a check to someone who is raising awareness. Instead, look them right in the eye and say THANK YOU!

Do self-exams and get a mammogram yearly.

Thank a survivor for fighting the fight. Everyone who beats it…we are one step closer to finding a cure.

Be Grateful each day.

Live your life as if there is no tomorrow! (Within reason, of course!)

Live, Laugh, Love…Be the best you!


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