Spread Sunshine Nominations: Survivors
As a woman-owned business, we wanted to spread sunshine to the hardworking ladies out there during COVID-19. We asked our community to nominate amazing women they know & tell us why they are so inspiring. We were in awe of all of the nominations we received and thought that each woman deserved to be spotlighted!
You never know how strong you are….until being strong is the only choice. We are honored to acknowledge these brave survivors in our community, and the wise women who recognize their daily efforts.
Ashley M. nominated by Stephanie S.
If anyone deserves to be recognized for an award as amazing as this, it’s Ashley M. Ashley started her teaching career at Liberty Pines Academy and has been teaching kindergarten there for the past 10 years. She is dedicated to her students and especially shines at teaching students with special needs. She calls her classroom their ‘house’ and tells her students that they are all a family. The rules and routines that they have designed together, are all centered around being good to one other and supporting each other, the way families should. Now that her classroom is no longer their “house,” Ashley is diving deep into making fun and creative lessons for all her students to view virtually. She is not afraid to be silly and make them laugh!
Ashley has 2 young children of her own and loves taking them to the beach, especially during the summer when they have a break. As a 3x melanoma survivor, UPF is especially crucial to her health. Ashley was diagnosed with Melanoma after each of her children were born. She has had lymph nodes taken, skin grafts performed, and a number of surgeries under her belt. Ashley is religious about wearing her Cabana UPF attire to the pool and the beach. She has mentioned before that she loves how versatile it is and how she can somehow still look cute while chasing her crazy kids all over the place. As a friend, I’d love her to have another piece. As beautiful as the one she has is, it is ALL she has.
Jana A. nominated by Brooke A.
I would like to nominate my mom, Jana A. She has battled breast cancer for 25 years, widowed for 4, and her cancer spread to her bones last year resulting in her being in chemo for the rest of her life. We said our goodbyes last year and she is still with us. She would be mortified if she knew I shared this because she never wants to be seen as a victim. You would never guess her battles nor would she tell you. She still lives in the two-story house I grew up in but she hasn’t been able to see us (my family which includes her two grandkids) except afar. During this time I have made her meals and dropped them off, and she still has managed to make me my favorite deviled eggs she makes during Easter time. Her 79th birthday is May 17th and I know she is going to be really sad to not be able to celebrate it with a hug from her grandkids and daughter.
Linda K. nominated by Sally-Anne S.
I would love to nominate my mom, Linda K., for the Spread Sunshine giveaway.
You see, the literal sunshine that my mom has seen for the last 4 1/2 years has been limited at best. In late 2015, my best friend was diagnosed with dermatomyositis, a rare inflammatory autoimmune disease that weakens her muscles, gives her a rash and limits the amount of time she spends in exposure to sunlight. My mom is an avid tennis player and had to stop playing outside entirely. As you can imagine, it was a tough transition to only play indoors. Now, when she goes out, she has to be covered head-to-toe sunscreen and UPF protective clothing.
Early on after her diagnosis, the options for sun protective clothing were limited at best, and a far cry away from the adorable preppy style that she passed on to me as a child. She has struggled to find things to wear that make her feel “normal” and let’s face it, those days where we hate our wardrobe and have “nothing to wear” really do have an impact on our self-esteem! I made it my personal mission to try to find new brands that sold cute UPF clothes and that is how we found Cabana Life. She has several Cabana Life hats and rashguards to help protect her from the sun. She was especially excited to hear about your recent collaboration with Talbots!
Now, with COVID-19 spreading across our country, being immunocompromised means she’s basically confined to her condo and not getting to see much sunshine at all. Even though I only live 10 minutes away, I haven’t seen her in person in weeks. I just couldn’t live with myself if I exposed her to something. Not seeing her and being able to give her a hug has been really hard! But I know it’s for the best.
So even though my mom isn’t on the front line, she’s still my hero for living with and navigating this disease every day. I would love to be able to give her a little ray of sun to help brighten her spirits.
Linda K. nominated by Sheri G.
Please consider the most special person that I know. I have only known Linda K. for one year, but if you are blessed to meet her, you will soon see that this woman is special. She is so brave, unselfish, and filled with optimism. She is an inspiration. While battling a little-known disease called “Castleman’s Disease”, Linda’s immune system is attacking her vital organs. This disease is not kind. She fights pain and this disease currently has no cure. It’s such a rare disease that not many doctors are sure how best to help her. Right now she is in a clinical study at UPenn Hospital in Philadelphia. So far, nothing is working. She continues to lose weight and despite all the false hope that she has been promised, nothing seems to be working. Yet, Linda is the most positive and upbeat person that I have ever met. Think your life is crap because you have to stay home during the Covid19 scare? I guarantee you that if you are lucky enough to meet Linda, you will truly see a person who will forever change your perspective on what is important in life. Covid19 will become a tiny bump in the road compared to what Linda deals with on a daily basis. Yet, she loves her life and remains so upbeat. I love her to pieces! You will, too! She deserves to be honored for the joy this teacher brings to others and for her bravery as she fights this horrible disease. She is an inspiration!
Siobhan H. nominated by Deirdre M.
I would nominate my younger sister Siobhan H. She just turned 60 on April 3, 2020, and she is a sweet lady. She has been through so much and still keeps a positive attitude. We lost our Dad a year ago. At the same time with a very long and painful decline of our Dad, her daughter got breast cancer. Amy was only 27. She had the BRCA gene, it turns out and had to have a double mastectomy. It was very challenging with Chemo and Radiation and so forth. Amy is an ER Nurse. And as the Mom, you are just trying to hold it all together. Then, she was also finalizing a divorce and that was tough as well.
And then, two weeks ago she was in Hawaii and had to return because they were going to cancel the flights!!! She is now re-grouping to help her daughter Amy with her reconstructive Surgery. They go for the Pre-Op appointment this week, but with the Virus who knows. It has been a roller coaster, to say the least.
Julia J. nominated by Cindy R.
I would like to nominate my youngest sister Julia J. Besides being a wife, mother of two wonderful children, and a breast cancer survivor, she is an emergency room nurse.
She is on the front lines dealing with the coronavirus in her role as a nurse. Due to shortages of face masks and other equipment, she is risking her own safety to take care of others. She is delivering food and supplies to our quarantined parents and checking in to be sure they are well in her "spare time". She is a compassionate lady who always puts others first.
Even though she spreads sunshine herself, she deserves some coming back her way!
Lynn T. nominated by Paula C.
I would like to nominate my hero and my sister Lynn T. Lynn is a breast cancer survivor and a nurse for 40 years! Divorced during her breast cancer treatments, she continued her grueling treatments while dealing with very difficult emotional times. Lynn has raised a daughter who became a nurse and went on to become a nurse anesthetist and son who graduated Yale with an engineering degree who went on to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Nick is now a resident of Orthopedic surgery. My big sister Lynn ( who is 61) has always wanted to be a nurse. Ever since we were little I can recall her saying that. Our grandmother on my mother’s side was a nurse. That indeed is my sister’s inspiration. When Coronavirus hit and she was called to serve, my sister said “ I made a vow to be a nurse and serve patients’ needs 40 years ago. It’s my duty”. My sister called me from her car on the first day of treating the COVID-19 patients, crying and saying her life will never be the same. I’m sure it won’t. She has been continuing to serve. I love her so very much!
Mary O. nominated by Beth C.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to nominate my sister, Mary O. My sister continually gives to other people. She is a nurse and breast cancer survivor of 1 1/2 years. She has three children and one of them has an autistic child. The list could go on and on. The love my sister shows for everyone who crosses her path is unbelievable and beautiful to witness. She is one of the most unselfish people that I know and I love her beyond words! Thank you so much for considering her.
To read more inspiring nominations about amazing women in our communities, click the links below to head to the blog post: