The strength of the bond between mother and daughter can be tested when one is facing a breast cancer diagnosis. As an only child, Stacy Kingston felt a great deal of emotion back in 1998 after learning that her mother, Marcia Luck, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“She went through the diagnosis, most of her treatments and then when she had about four radiation treatments left she told me she had it,” says Stacy, who was away at college at the time. “I went home one weekend to go to a wedding and as I was getting ready she said, ‘Oh and by the way, I have breast cancer.’”
Stacy’s mother has been the only one in her family with breast cancer. There was so much to find out about the disease, especially with it hitting so close to home. Once Stacy was informed about her mother’s new journey, she was able to truly be there for her.
“I did go to her last treatment with her, which was very hard and also exciting. I was proud of her because she got to ring the bell and now she has been cancer-free for 15 years,” says Stacy.
After going through the breast cancer journey with her mother, Stacy chose to take action in the fight against breast cancer by volunteering for Komen St. Louis. As a Komen volunteer, Stacy has been able to learn more about breast cancer and speak with others who have gone through a similar journey.
Komen St. Louis volunteer Stacy Kingston with her mother Marcia Luck
“For a long time I really didn’t get all the details of my mom’s journey through it. Talking with people and hearing their stories and the things that they’re going through has helped,” says Stacy.
Stacy has been involved with Komen St. Louis for 10 years. During her time as a volunteer, she has been able to inspire and encourage others with breast cancer. She’s currently serving as chairperson for Komen St. Louis’ 5th Annual Spare Nothing for the Cure bowling event.
As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Stacy understands the power of community, especially during the difficult moments of the disease. She shares a few encouraging words for those acting as a support system for someone going through this journey:
“I would say it’s important to be strong and to educate yourself. Whether it’s getting pamphlets and reading things on the Internet or in magazine articles, or contacting Komen St. Louis for information and resources…make sure you’re educated about breast cancer,” says Stacy. “It’s also important to take care of yourself as well, because you’ve got to take care of yourself in order to help take care of somebody else.”
It takes a caring person to help someone else. After brushing up on facts about breast cancer and taking care of oneself, one of the best things to do is just be there for that person.
“Be in tune with the person you are helping through the process. Some people talk about it, some people want a shoulder to cry on and just to be listened to,” says Stacy. “Figure out what that other person needs, because that’s the biggest way that you’re going to be able to be strong for them as they’re dealing with breast cancer.”