October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Almost everyone has been touched by cancer. It is estimated that 1.6 million cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Of that, approximately 231,840 women will be newly identified with breast cancer. Roughly 40,290 women will die from the disease in 2015.
Early detection saves lives and it saved mine. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 22, 2014, just six days before I started working at PNM. It has made me passionate about spreading awareness and helping women live longer through early detection. One day, I hope no one will ever have to hear the words “you have breast cancer.”
I’m a very lucky person and blessed in so many ways. My cancer was treatable and I couldn’t ask for a more understanding boss, since his wife is also a breast cancer survivor. Statistics are one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Sometimes I close my eyes and try to imagine a world without cancer or breast cancer in it. If cancer didn’t exist, maybe my dad would still be alive and my older brother wouldn’t have had to suffer through seven rounds of chemotherapy and fly to M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas all the time for treatment and surgery. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to use all of my paid time off for medical purposes.
Being a practical person, I know that it takes money to fund research to eliminate cancer and to provide support to those who are currently dealing with the diagnosis and those who may face a diagnosis in the future. It also takes money to raise awareness, educate and teach people about risk reduction.
I volunteer for the American Cancer Society and recently participated in their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Santa Fe. When the Society contacted me and asked if my employer PNM would donate towable light towers at 5:00 a.m. for the morning of the event, it didn’t surprise me in the least when my colleague Cory Plant volunteered to take care of it.
What did humble and surprise me is that when I created a team and committed to walk five miles for the event, 30 of my PNM coworkers donated money, 10 from Albuquerque and 20 from Santa Fe. On top of that, thanks to the PNM Resources Foundation Employee Matching Grant program, many of their donations qualified for matching grants that doubled their contributions.
Do you know what the best part about all of this is? My team, Jodi’s Rockers for Knockers raised over $5,000 for the cause, more than any of the other 61 teams at the event. My coworkers are awesome, which is one of the reasons I feel lucky, blessed and PNM Proud.
Jodi McGinnis Porter | Corporate Communications
PNM | Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM