Updated: Mar 7
Over the years, WildAugust has supported those in the fight against breast cancer with our Warrior in Pink bouquets. I had every intention of doing the same thing again this year, when something shifted: my friend, Jennifer, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have followed her treatment posts, and in each one she mentions her daughter, Makena, whom she has nicknamed her Chemo Cheerleader. Makena, now 17, was in my very last 4th-grade class when I left teaching, and I already knew her to be conscientious, steadfast, and resolute in her willingness to be a helper. When Makena’s grandmother (Jennifer’s mother) faced cancer several years ago, Makena taught herself to make headwraps. She continues to make them today, not just for her mother, but also as gifts which she donates to cancer-treatment centers for their patients to wear. Makena’s labor of love is called “Wrapped in Love,” and she has given away hundreds of headwraps to date. My initial plan for this year’s Warrior bouquets was to continue our tradition of donating a portion of the proceeds of bouquet sales to the Laurie Smith Breast Health Endowment, this time in Jennifer’s honor. …but in every post about her journey, there is Makena, her brave and smiling cheerleader. Where would Jennifer be without her Makena? And what must this cancer journey be like for Makena? I decided I wanted to rework the Warrior campaign and make it about both women: the Warrior in Pink *and* her cheerleader- her Warrior of Care. Inspired by Makena, I started thinking of all the other Warriors of Care out there:
Judi Peters and her family and close friends, who fought valiantly alongside their Nick in his years-long battle with childhood leukemia. They have since founded TeamWalkerPete in Nick’s memory as a way to support other childhood-cancer families.
Lisa Peña and Peggy Harris. Both of these women are mothers to special-needs kiddoes, and Lisa has founded Labeled and Loved as a way of offering other moms the empathetic camaraderie and support that helps them navigate the daily challenges of this special brand of motherhood.
Diane Wilson, my mother-in-law, who faithfully cared for my father-in-law as dementia stole him away from us. Those were hard days, and she never complained.
Vera and Norma and Myra and Maggie, who care for my elderly Gram as she also leaves us in little tiny shadow pieces. As her mind and body fail, they offer round-the-clock care with a tremendous amount of affection and grace.
The more I thought about Warriors of Care, the more I realized they are, as my friend Janelle put it, the Silent Warriors: largely unseen and unheard, but absolutely indispensable in the everyday challenges of intense caregiving. It is sacred, vital, holy work.
With this in mind, we decided to relaunch the Warrior in Pink campaign as the Warriors of Care campaign. If you’ve seen Monday’s reel (March 6th), you know we’re honoring Warriors of Care with a weekly giveaway. You can help by submitting a nomination or by sending a Warrior you know some encouragement in the form of flowers. Warrior bouquets are $50 before tax and delivery, and we’re donating 10% of the proceeds from each bouquet to your choice of five organizations:
Labeled and Loved RGV https://www.labeledandloved.org
The Laurie Smith Breast Health Endowment
The Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/
Wrapped in Love https://www.facebook.com/wrappedinlovegoldaward?mibextid=LQQJ4d
Special thanks to our friends at Desiree’s Spa https://desireesspa.com/ for their participation in our Warriors of Care giveaways and to all of our flower friends for the outpouring of support for this campaign. Together we’re helping care for those who care for others.