Exposing Hope 2017 | Kim Kirkman

“[Hope is] to trust that good things will happen.”

Kim Kirkman’s diagnosis changed everything about her life. She no longer worries about the simplest things, like making sure the floor is swept every day. However, she does make sure she lives every day like it is her last by never missing the chance to say, “I love you” or not allowing fear to stop her from taking a chance. 

She believed she appreciated life and loved deeply before her diagnosis in 2010, but nothing compares to the way she embraces those same things now.

Exposing Hope 2017 | Katrina Robinson

“Hope for me is the potential for better.  Knowing that we may not be able to control every aspect of life. Hope provides a glimpse into happiness.”

Katrina Robinson views her diagnosis as an opportunity to reflect.  Without a doubt, breast cancer, has taught her strength and humility.  

She shared that you must be mentally tough to successfully overcome chemotherapy, and more importantly, physical changes, family dynamics, and possible limitations.  Katrina indicated that humility, to her, is knowing when and how to ask others for help even though you are accustomed to being independent. 

Katrina, a five-year survivor, revealed that her diagnosis has led to the realization that life should be lived to the fullest every day.

Exposing Hope 2017 | Kathryn Gesse

“Hope is always finding the positive in a situation.”

Kathryn Gesse’s diagnosis has impacted her life significantly.  Kathryn always tries to find the positive when times are tough and appreciates the little things more often.  She mentioned that she has had the opportunity to be a resource to friends who have been diagnosed with cancer which is why she has never questioned the reason she was diagnosed. 

Kathryn, a three-year survivor, shared that even when times are tough you can persevere.

Exposing Hope 2017 | Julie Buie

“To me, hope is a light in times of darkness and uncertainty.  It is a feeling of trust in a different kind of outcome.  Hope is an optimistic desire.  Hope comes from our hearts, not our heads.” 

With two young children, playdates and Play-Doh were part of everyday life for Julie Buie.  Her diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer came as quite a surprise, given there was no family history.  Fortunately, Julie had the amazing support of family, friends and the knowledge of a rich team of medical providers.  Julie shared that she trusted and relied on God and knew that He was with her every step of her journey.

 She remembered seeing a quote from Tom Bodett a few years ago where he said, “A person needs three things to be truly happy in this world- someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”  Julie goes on to say, “I am a blessed and happy woman to say that I have someone to love.  I have something to do as I spend my days helping to raise my children, and through work I help other young families raise their children.  And I am filled with hope through my work with Earlier.org.” 

As a breast cancer survivor, Julie believes that life is a gift and she’s extremely grateful.  She expressed without pause that she needed a whole community of faithful family, friends, neighbors, and survivors to help her through this journey.

Julie is an eleven-and-a-half-year survivor.