October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People all over the world come together to show their support for those that have been affected by breast cancer and to raise awareness. In this DIVE In blog, Blue Yonder associates share their stories of what breast cancer awareness month means to them and how they have been impacted by the disease.

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2020. It’s a journey I never thought I would be on at the age of 35, which shows the disease doesn’t discriminate. I found I had a strength I never knew. I fought for my family, I’m a mum of a gang of boys. I have used my story to help others and spread the word through volunteer work with Coppafeel, a UK-based breast cancer charity that raises awareness about cancer among young people – participating in numerous events and talking to young woman so they know the signs. If you have a concern or worry, please do reach out and don’t put off seeing your doctor.Stephanie Glanville, Senior Recruiter – Bracknell, UK

When I was in high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer – it was a shock and a scary time for all of us. Without a family history of breast cancer or any known signs or risk factors, it was completely unexpected. She went in for a routine mammogram and thankfully the cancer was caught early. During the couple months of surgeries, she was always strong and determined to fight it and then move on with her life. I was amazed by her strength and think she handled it a lot better than I did to be honest!

Today when I see my mom enjoying life as a grandma, I often think about how things could have been very different. What if she had delayed that routine appointment or hadn’t been attentive about going to check-ups at all? To me this month is a time to spread awareness about breast cancer prevention and to emphasize the importance of early detection – mammograms save lives.Courtney Armstrong, Specialist, Talent Management – Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.

Courtney Armstrong with her mom and son, along with Jennifer Fasolino, other Blue Yonder associates and family members at last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness walk/fundraiser

My family has been impacted by breast cancer as my mother and my mother-in-law are both breast cancer survivors. Also, my sister-in-law tested positive for the BRAC mutation (Breast Cancer gene) and decided to have a proactive hysterectomy and full breast removal followed by breast reconstruction surgeries that were very difficult and took two attempts. Given all of these harsh reminders, I dutifully conduct annual mammograms and try my best to do monthly checks. I personally had a momentary scare with a need for a biopsy. Thankfully, no cancer was detected but I have a stent in place and am always a little nervous each mammogram visit wondering, is it my time? Through the years I have participated in breast cancer and genetic studies with the Mayo Clinic to support research. I also support charity fundraising and charity walks to help in these small ways as a kind of gratitude that my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law are healthy and living fulfilling lives.

May we all be so lucky to have good health, to have resources to support us, and to lead with empathy. Please consider paying it forward for your mother, your sister, your wife/partner, your daughter, a colleague or a stranger, both male or female, who are diagnosed with breast cancer. When it comes to cancer, unfortunately inclusivity is widespread. My ask for this Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Do what you can. Give what you can. Help where you can. We are #BetterTogether through sickness and in health. Please be vigilant when it comes to minding our own health and that of our loved ones. – Jennifer Fasolino, Vice President, Internal Communications – Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.

I was 16 years old when I found out that my mum had breast cancer, she was 56. It put a lot of strain on my father, the strong silent type who, for the first time in his life, was worried and scared – and it showed. The thought of losing his wife – the head of our matriarchal family – was something we all feared immensely. It’s a given, parents of that era are made differently; mine had endured so much in their lives – a second global war, persecution and, ultimately, moving continents to a safe haven to bring up their future family. We feel that they will live forever, that they have a cloak of invincibility. Mum’s cancer came back seven years later, and radiotherapy followed. By the time she was 71 she had to have chemotherapy for the first time. When I asked her what happens if your numbers go up again, her answer? “I’ll have more chemo.” It was said in such a matter-of-fact way. Her strength and determination were such an example to us all.

Through adversity, comes strength. Mum started going to a hospice every Monday as a day care patient, where she rekindled her love of painting. Six months later, she had an exhibition and raised over £1,000 for the hospice. A year later, the hospice had a very special visitor, and my mum was selected to meet the Queen of England. After 20 years of living with this awful disease, mum could battle no more, and she passed. The last six months were hell, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives me time to reflect and smile for what I had, it gives me time to rue what I don’t have now and it makes me wonder what can I do to make this awful disease go away. It makes me thankful and grateful for everything in my life.Sarin Rawal, Strategic Services Director – Amsterdam

Sarin Rawal’s mother meeting the Queen of England