Each October, Service King unites for the single effort of raising awareness around Breast Cancer. That effort has produced remarkable results while strengthening our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Yet, we know there’s nothing more powerful in the continuous battle against breast cancer than the impact of our own personal stories. That’s the inspiration behind ‘Faces of Breast Cancer’. Be sure to check back as we continue to highlight teammates from across the Service King Family of Repair Centers this October.
Below, you will find the story of our very own teammate Debra Thompson, as she shares her journey with breast cancer.
Service King National Support Center
Below are the inspiring words of Debra, regarding her victory.
My name is Debra Thompson and I am a breast cancer survivor. I strongly believe in early detection. I was lucky in the fact my husband found my lump and encouraged me to get it tested. I was 2nd stage and with a lot of research, I was able to have chemo and radiation along with homeopathic treatments. I did not need surgery and I have since been in remission. Had my husband not hounded me to go to the Dr. or had it not been found early enough, my story may be different today. There is no age limit on breast cancer, so it is very important to do self-exams and see your Dr. once a year. I hope one day there will be a cure - in the meantime, please support breast cancer research in any way you can.
Service Advisor Intern
Service King Collision Repair of Elliot, Gilbert, AZ
These are the inspiring words of Alyssa, regarding the victory of her mother-in-law, Beverlee Hamm:
“I am honoring my mother in law who has survived breast cancer and has been nothing but a ray of sunshine through something most could not smile through, including a recent stroke. Beverlee is a volunteer in the cancer wing at the hospital near her home and helps bring gifts and enjoyment to those there. She continues to be an inspiration to people around her and we are very thankful to have her in our lives.”
Read Beverlee’s story below.
“On October 22, 1999, at just 46 years old, Beverlee was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her thoughts at that moment were: “My son is 10 years old - I have to fight it!” Only a few months later, Beverlee underwent surgery. From December to February, she underwent radiation and continued to take tamoxifen for the next 5 years. Her thoughts at that time were, “Everything is good.” By October 2007, her breast cancer had returned. That December, another surgical procedure was performed and Beverlee again went through radiation. After chemotherapy and cancer blocking drugs she decided to proceed with chemotherapy. She started on February 14th, 2008 and by summer of 2008, after multiple tests, her thoughts were: “Looks like I was cured. My hair was growing back after 18 months, and I was on my way back.”
Her advice to those currently battling breast cancer is to, “Just be positive and be HAPPY every day.”
Beverlee is truly a fighter and an inspiration to those around her on a daily basis. I am so thankful to have her as a mother-in-law.”
Service King Collision Repair of Orland Park, IL
These are the inspiring words of Connie, in loving memory of her aunt, Rose Reese:
“I am wanting to share my story to help spread the message of awareness and hope to those affected by breast cancer. This is a tribute to my aunt who lost her battle last month to the disease after being a survivor for 10 years. She was not only my aunt but also my best friend and like a mother to me.
Ten years ago, they performed a mastectomy in which she bounced back like a trooper with her support system of family and friends. Throughout the years, she would follow up with her doctors to check on her health condition, each time receiving the answer to her prayers, that all was good.
However, just two months ago, she was told the cancer had returned in her remaining breast, ovaries, and other vital organs during her routine exam. She was diagnosed a stage 4 and received the first round of chemotherapy. Within one week she was in the care of hospice and passed to the shock of our family. Would we have wanted her to be with us longer? Yes, but her quick passing gave her the dignity of still feeling that she won part of the battle by not suffering long. Thus, one would say the disease didn’t dehumanize her and she passed at peace with her loved ones.
The message I want to relay is:
There is always HOPE for those affected and their family that a cure will happen.
HOPE that the loss of someone will inspire others to commit to following up for their own health reasons to eliminate having to go through the fear of this disease.
Help Eliminate the FEAR that you have of being alone to fight the battle without any support group. We are here for you and others like you.”
Customer Care Center Supervisor
Service King Home Office
These are the words of Christie regarding the victory of her daughter, Nicole Johnson:
"My daughter Nicole found out 2 weeks after her 21st birthday she had stage 3 mantle cell lymphoma. As her mother, I was devastated but reassured her she was a strong young woman and I would be by her side as she fought this ugly disease.
She started chemo and after that, it was followed up with radiation.
I've never seen my child so sick and it was very frightening to see her so frail. She cried and wanted to give up, but I told her that her daughter needs her here and how much we loved her and needed her to continue to fight.
She finished up her treatments several months later and has been cancer-free since late 2014."
Service King Collision Repair of East Dundee, IL
These are the kind words of Eduardo regarding his mother:
"After several family members were diagnosed with breast cancer and losing some to the disease, my mother decided to take a risk and start her own trucking business. In doing so, she created an image that can be recognized by all, which is a semi dump truck painted pink. She also makes sticker ribbons for people who have struggled and/or are struggling with the disease. She then has their loved ones place the ribbon on the side of her truck so that they can look at it when it drives down the road. This way, they can remember the family member that was affected by the disease. To me, this is important because it’s a symbol that everyone understands when he or she sees it. Pain follows us all in one way or another due to cancer. I wanted the memory of the person's name on the ribbon to continue and when the person who has placed the ribbon sees the truck, they can point to their ribbon and say, “There goes my mom, my sister, my daughter, my family member or friend.” And never forget them. This is what I want. For the memory to continue.”
Eduardo has a message for those who are currently battling breast cancer or have a loved one that is:
“But you, O Lord, are my shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain.”
Customer Service Representative
NEUS Regional Support Center
These are the heartfelt words of Nicole regarding her mother:
“A true inspiration. In 2003, my mother was first diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. It was extremely difficult on my mother and my family. After getting her tumor removed, she was in remission for four years.
Four years later, my mother was diagnosed again with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in both breasts. My mother and our family were heart broken that we had to go through this again. To take every precaution to ensure my moms health, they removed both breasts in a 22 hour-long surgery that my mother had flat lined during twice.
This was something we thought we would never have to go through again.
In 2015, my mother was once again diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, which had metastasized (spread) to the spine. I’m 21 years old and if I have learned anything I’ve learned to have faith. My mother is the most amazing and powerful woman I know. The doctors say that they cannot operate because of where her tumors and her grade are is too delicate. My mother will have chemo and radiation for the rest of her life. We live everyday as if it were our last with her. The doctors have given her 2 years, but with faith, we will overcome. My mother is a true inspiration and I am humbled to work for a company that gives back to such an amazing cause. It really hits home.”
Service King Collision Repair of Salt Lake City, UT
These are the words of Paul regarding his sister’s battle with breast cancer:
“The end of July of 2016, my sister found two lumps on her right breast. She had biopsies completed on both and both were malignant. The doctors opted for surgery to remove both breasts. When they performed the surgery, they realized the cancer had spread and he was forced to remove several centimeters of tissue behind the breasts. She is now home recuperating and waiting for the incision to heal. At this point, there will be chemotherapy. We are optimistic she will completely recover and be back to her old self. As a side note, I informed my general manager, Sean Barberio, of her situation. Sean was awesome. He allowed me to take the week off and be by my sister's side during the surgery. It was wonderful to work for a company that is so family centered and allowed me to be with my sister during this time.”
Service King Collision Repair of Waldorf, MD
These are words of David regarding Lea and Lea’s words on her experience:
“A friend of mine, a motorcycle racer that does numerous charity events, Lea Martinez. Attached is some information from her. She is a phenomenal person, a SURVIVOR! and proud to say it. I had her put together some information about her battle. My daughters look up to Lea, I asked her to share…"
"My name is Lea "Dream Catcher" Martinez. I am a wife, mother of two children and a motorcycle drag racer. I raise awareness for breast cancer through my passion for racing. I was diagnosed in July of 2009 with ductal carcinoma. I made the decision along with my husband and doctor to do a double mastectomy, with immediate reconstruction. They quickly had my surgery scheduled for the end November. During the surgery, they had removed some lymph nodes, which came back negative. This meant the cancer had not spread!! I was able to move forward with the reconstructive process. It was a long road with a few minor complications here and there, finally finishing up with the final surgery in 2012. I have since then been trying to raise money and do charity events that help patients during their treatment. I am currently a Georgia rep. for Bikers Against Breast Cancer. They give patients $300 mini grants to help pay a bill or buy groceries. It does not matter whether it is a child, adult, man or woman. They will help out. And BABC is always looking for people to be reps.”