What’s your favorite part of a typical day?
My favorite part of the day is around 5:30 PM when I am finished working and heading off to the gym for a fantastic work out. As a breast cancer survivor it has been proven clinically that exercise can help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.
What part of your day would you gladly give up?
Actually, after having had breast cancer I treasure getting up each day. I enjoy life to its fullest. I really do not have any part of the day I would give up as I cherish each moment of every day.
Tell me about your business, charity, or cause?
I became a Board Member to The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation after having the honor of meeting Kristy’s parents, Tom and Lynn Lasch, through her friend Laura. Kristy Lasch was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 22 and lost her battle at 26. I learned the Foundation was having a fund raising event while I was writing my book, “The Empty Cup Runneth Over,” and decided to have a portion of the proceeds benefit a foundation in need. Kristy’s story touched my heart and I contacted Laura, Kristy’s friend, who in turn introduced me to Kristy’s parents. They told me that Kristy had kept a journal and if she had lived she would have written a book. I asked if they would give me the honor of putting her journal in my book. They were happy to let me do this and it was then that they asked if I would like to become a Board Member. The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation helps women under the age of 30 with medical related expenses. As Kristy knew only too well, even with insurance, treatment and medications can be extremely expensive.
What keeps you up at night?
Wow, this is a wonderful question. My day begins at 4:15 AM Monday through Friday and ends at 11:00 PM some nights because I am constantly on Facebook and Twitter networking. I have met fantastic people who helped me promote my book. I met people who have invited me on their radio and TV shows, and even met journalists who put my story in well known magazines. The exciting thing is I have met other cancer survivors who have great web sites. To date, I am linked to over 45 web sites, which I call The Link of Hope.
What also keeps me awake some nights is lying in bed trying to figure out my next project and who else I can help. I belong to many organizations and foundations, will be writing another book, and in the process of writing a movie screen play. Therefore, arranging my priorities in my head keeps me awake some nights.
Who gives you the best advice about your business, charity, cause?
I have met thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook and many have offered advice in so many ways. For example, I had four women, all breast cancer survivors, link my website to theirs and in return I have their sites on mine. I have learned a lot from these other breast cancer survivors who I am now very close friends with today. My IT person, Philip Augustyne from Nexteck Technology, has created a wonderful website for me. Philip and his staff are a huge support to helping make “The Empty Cup Runneth Over” as educational as possible for other cancer survivors in their fight against breast cancer. I am blessed to meet wonderful people from all over who have helped me on my journey including many who helped donate to The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
My best accomplishment is the writing of my book, “The Empty Cup Runneth Over,” which ultimately led to another book and a movie screen play.
I am also proud that I actually had the nerve to be part of a breast cancer fashion show where I literally got up on stage and modeled a bathing suit in front of over 1,000 people. Now I am a member of The Day of Caring that put on the event. I am also proud of all the help I have given back to other breast cancer survivors through my book, and through all the lectures I have given since the birth of my book.
What would you like to see happen with your business, charity, cause?
My ultimate dream is for my movie screenplay to be picked up by a Director/Producer. Also, I would like to see more funding for The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation as Kristy’s parents, Tom and Lynn Lasch, receive many calls from women seeking financial help because their insurance company co-payments are not enough to cover chemotherapy treatments and medications.
Share a failure and a triumphant outcome to something you have faced in your life.
I will begin by saying that surviving breast cancer has taken me on a different path in my life. I now know that breast cancer has no boundaries. About four years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer, my 20-year marriage came to an end. I was totally devastated. Not knowing what to do or who to talk to made everything harder for me. I felt like “Humpty Dumpty” shattered and thought I could never be put back together again. It took about three years before I could even date, and that was not so great. I find dating a challenge because most men are visual. Me not having real breasts definitely affected my self esteem. However, to date I can happily write that I am doing very well. Staying active and surrounding myself with positive, fun-loving people is truly important. One must never give up hope.
I had one person ask if having had breast cancer is a gift because I am doing so much by helping others. I feel it is and it is not a gift. The part that is not the gift is that I lost both my breasts to cancer and my 20 years of marriage ended. On the other hand, I consider having breast cancer a gift because I am helping so many others overcome the effects of breast cancer, and to be there for support when and if they need it.
If you were in charge of everything in the world for a day, what’s the first change you would make?
Okay, make gas prices cheaper, organic foods reasonably priced, and on a serious note, to help get the homeless off the streets. Every time I see a homeless person, it truly breaks my heart.
However, the first thing I would to is to make health care affordable for cancer patients. The pre-existing clause needs to be changed. Many young and old cannot get insurance after being diagnosed with cancer and ultimately die because they cannot get treatment.
What advice would you give to anyone diagnosed with breast cancer?
I would let people know that being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence. One should never give up hope.
Losing a breast or even both breasts as I did, can be devastating. I feel it is important to look at the positive in everything. While difficult after losing both breasts, we must always move forward, surround ourselves with positive, loving people. Get rid of all negativity, and remember that having faith and hope is important.
Cindy Papale is a nine-year survivor of breast cancer and author of “The Empty Cup Runneth Over”.Cindy’s story is a moving account of how one woman has taken many traumatic experiences and from it found new meaning in her life. Cindy has touched the hearts of many through her book, public speaking, and by finding funding for The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation. Cindy has been featured in articles in Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami and Kendall newspapers. Cindy also made the cover of The Miami Medicine Magazine, has appeared on channel 6 South Florida Today Show, the 101.5 LITE FM Radio, and was selected for the 2007 Strike Out Cancer Hall of Fame newsletter.