Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why we hold SGK so dear to our hearts...

As most of you already know, Twisted Bodies is closely associated with Susan G. Komen. We are an official donation center and participate in the Denton Race for the Cure every year by donating our time, services and funds. Khristen is a certified Pink Ribbon Therapeutic Trainer and works to promote therapeutic Pilates training for women pre and post-op mastectomy. What you don't know is why we hold this charity so near and dear to our hearts. Khristen's mother, Sharon Stanley passed away from breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 52.

This is her story...

On September 26th of 2009 my sister got married. My mom, Sharon helped her plan every detail of her special day. She drove from Sanger to Victoria to scout and book locations, went wedding dress shopping and made countless trips to Hobby Lobby. We had many late night phone calls discussing catering, centerpieces and whether to throw rice or blow bubbles at the sendoff. I remember my sister insisting that my mom not wear her wig because she finally had a nice head full of hair again.

The wedding was beautiful. My sister looked gorgeous and my mom was beaming with pride, there was nothing that could remove her smile. That day we were all surrounded by love and family and friends. It was perfect. It was also the last day they would see my mom truly alive. While she knew this, it was in her nature to make sure everyone was carefree, happy and well taken care of. This was exactly how she wanted everyone’s last memory of her to be. On October 15th she passed away.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42. She underwent a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and months of chemotherapy. Just before her 5 year “all-clear” appointment she discovered another lump. The breast cancer had returned and it had metastasized into bone cancer spread throughout her spine and pelvis. Even with the lumpectomy and more chemo her diagnosis was now terminal. She and I had weekly chemo lunch dates where I would bring Chick-Fil-A and we would sit and laugh and tell jokes while she knitted baby afghans, scarves and hats. She always kept us warm. After lunch she would return to work. She was incredibly dedicated to her position as an executive assistant to the president of the company. Many of the people she worked with didn’t even know she had cancer and it wasn’t something she broadcasted. I remember her telling me when I asked her if she was going to quit working “No, it’s just a condition that needs to be monitored, almost like diabetes. “ And she worked until her body could no longer carry her.

She lived with breast cancer for 10 years, 5 of those years being a terminal diagnosis. During that time she welcomed two granddaughters into the world and they adored her. She attended every birthday party, performance and holiday gathering. She still came over to take care of me while I was sick, helped to move my sister into her college dorm, my brother into his apartment and me into my house. She traveled to the Caribbean, Hawaii, England and Ireland. She traveled the US with my dad on the back of a Harley. A little cancer diagnosis was not going to hold her back from living her life.


My mom was my very best friend and I have to admit that I probably spent more time with her than my own husband. She lived and loved greatly and in return was loved more than she could ever know. Because of her I strive every day to live my life to the fullest, without complaint. Her diagnosis was not without struggle. I stood by her while she recovered from painful surgeries which stripped her womanly form, held her hand while we shaved her head and sat on the bathroom floor with a cold cloth pressed against the back of her neck after her chemo treatments. Through it all she spent her time comforting those she loved. She is my reason for giving back to all of the women living with cancer.

I love and miss you always mom - Khristen


“I don’t want people to remember that I died of breast cancer, I want them to remember how I lived with it.” – Sharon Andersen Stanley

A note from Khristen…
Whether you have a family history of breast cancer or not please do not forgo your regular check-ups. My mother was the first in her family to have breast cancer. Both times she found the lump herself through self examination. For all of you small breasted women out there please know that a sonogram may provide better detection. My mom found her first lump after getting an "all clear" mammogram (she was a 34A) and was already stage 2. We have self examination shower cards in the studio if you would like one, just ask. Take care of them boobies!

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