Jackie Foy was 22 years old when her mother, Theresa, sat her down at the kitchen table to talk about cancer. Jackie reminded herself to keep a straight face while her mother spoke. She wanted to be strong for her. Theresa’s routine Pap smear had led to the detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer. Jackie immediately had questions. She wanted to know everything she could about her mother’s diagnosis. What stage was her mother’s cancer? What kind of treatments would she have to endure? After they had finished talking, Jackie went up to her room and cried. When she finished, she began to think of ways she could help her mother survive the disease.
Theresa underwent a radical hysterectomy and her doctors were successfully able to remove all of her cancer cells. She was fortunate not to have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation, but recovery from her surgery was long. “She was out of work for about three months,” Jackie remembers. “I just made sure I did everything I could do to help during that time, so she didn’t have to worry about anything but her recovery.” From making dinners to going to doctor’s appointments and picking up extra shifts at work to help with bills, Jackie was happy to be there for her mom.
Friends and family also wanted to help out and asked if they could put together a fundraiser to help with medical expenses. Knowing that her mom would rather help others fighting cancer as well, Jackie decided to organize a fundraiser that would benefit cancer research. “My mom has always donated to Stand Up To Cancer, in honor of my grandmother who passed away from colon cancer 15 years ago,” Jackie says. “So creating a fundraiser in her honor that supported SU2C research made perfect sense.”
Jackie decided to host the fundraiser at the bowling alley where she and her mother both worked. Friends and family could come out to participate in a fun mini bowling tournament, support her mother and donate to research that would ultimately help other patients as well. “My family is a big bowling family, I grew up going to our local bowling alley, and now I work there,” Jackie laughs. “It was the perfect place for our fundraiser, and I’m happy they have let us continue to host it there for over four years now.”
Today, Jackie’s fundraiser has grown to become something that people in her community look forward to and something Jackie hopes to continue doing for years to come. “It means the world to me that the research this fundraiser supports is making an impact on patient lives,” Jackie says. “Knowing that 100% of the money we raise goes towards helping more patients become survivors like my mom makes it all worth it.”
At her most recent fundraiser, Jackie printed out SU2C’s iconic #IStandUpFor placards and put them out for participants. She was amazed to see how many people filled them out and shared stories of how cancer had also touched their lives. “I stand up for my grandmother and most importantly for my mom,” Jackie says proudly. “But, I will continue to do this fundraiser in the hopes of helping anyone that’s facing this horrible disease.”
Jackie continues to be thankful that her mother’s cancer is still in remission, but she knows that not everyone is so fortunate when it comes this disease. She hopes that with research more lives will continue to be saved. “I think anything we can do to help save more lives from cancer is important,” Jackie exclaims. “If the money we donate helps even one more patient survive, that makes it all worth it.”
Shop the merch Jackie is wearing above (and more) at the SU2C shop.