'My Mommy Has Cancer' by Holly Bertone

+Holly Coconutheadsurvivalguide Bertone is the lovely CEO and President of Pink Fortitude, LLC, a company dedicated to promoting inspiration and positive self-esteem to cancer survivors and all women. She is a breast cancer surviver, diagnosed on her 39th birthday, and is passionate about doing her part to fight the awful disease as well as reaching out to other survivors. She has been a huge supporter of +Determined to Cure, and I am endlessly grateful for all she does and inspired by her work to raise awareness of cancer.



On the four-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, Holly published My Mommy Has CancerShe wrote the children's book based on her own experiences, and as a response to her calling to help other families who have been devastated with cancer. Illustrations are from children of cancer survivors, and the book is written from a child's perspective to enhance reliability. It is age appropriate for five to ten year-old children.
Read the book's blurb below:
Mommy’s cancer diagnosis will bring fear, sadness, and uncertainty to your entire family, especially your young ones. You not only have to navigate your own illness and treatment, but as a parent, you need to figure out how to explain this to your children, and monitor their feelings.
Bertone wrote My Mommy Has Cancer to help other families heal. She encourages parents to read through the book first, and then read the book to or with your child and have an open discussion that is best for your family’s situation.
Topics include what is most visible to children: surgery, chemotherapy, hair loss, schedule disruption, feeling sad, and helping. Break-out boxes contain probing questions to help your child talk openly about their feelings and concerns.
My Mommy Has Cancer is available for purchase on Blurb, and also through Holly's website.
Holly has published several other books about her journey and cancer, including the heartwarming “Coconut Head’s Cancer Survival Guide – My Journey from Diagnosis to ‘I Do’.” This book details her year-long journey from diagnosis and engagement to being sick and bald on her wedding day, and looks at her struggles to overcome self-esteem issues. A percentage of sales go to breast cancer charities.



Drops of Fortitude is Holly's second book, written to help inspire other individuals going through cancer treatment. "This book is gender and cancer neutral and is a life anthem for anyone who is struggling through a difficult life situation. Learn how to find your inner strength and your personal fortitude and rise above your illness. Holly also provides a segment on how to survive cancer like an Army Ranger. She dishes out some tough love, but you will gain a new perspective on finding peace and strength during your treatment. Drops of Fortitude is the first e-book in her "Drops" series for cancer patients."



Holly Bertone is one of the loveliest, most genuine people I know. She is an amazing cancer awareness advocate, and her books are brilliant resources. I recommend them to anyone and everyone as unmissable reads.

Take care,
Madeleine Moore

Liebster Award

The lovely +Holly Coconutheadsurvivalguide of the wonderful blog The Coconut Head's Survival Guide was kind enough to nominate +Determined to Cure for the Liebster Award

The Award nominates 11 blogs who have less than 200 readers. Awardees then answers 11 questions provided by their nominator. Each awardee then 'pays it forward' by publishing a post and nominating 11 bloggers with their own 11 questions. 



Here are my responses to Holly's questions ~
  1. Coffee or Tea? Tea for sure.
  2. Work at home - dress for success in high heels and pearls, or sweats? Sweats - dress for comfort when at home, I say!
  3. Favourite kitchen gadget and why. I don't (cannot) cook, but love our mix-master as it does everything for me.
  4. Favorite kitchen small appliance and why. Would have to be the kettle - tea is my staple.
  5. Do you have a hot area in the house where everything seems to land like mail, lists, pens, hats, purses? My desk draws have collected a lot of things over the years...
  6. What is on your honey-do list waiting to get done? I would like to clean out my cupboards - some may call be a 'hoarder.'
  7. Favorite movie/movies of all time? Love and Other Disasters is a lovely movie.
  8. What TV show/shows are on your must-see list? Hawaii Five-0 and Grey's Anatomy.
  9. If you were given an unlimited amount of money, what big-ticket item for your home would you buy? I would spend the money painting the entire house.
  10. What is your favourite store to shop for decor? Anywhere with a good sale!
  11. You just won the lotto, congratulations. What kind of house will you go buy and where will it be? I wouldn't buy a house but would donate some and bank the rest.

My blogging circle is rather limited as I complete most of my interaction on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, so I am nominating only one person. Aside from the lovely +Holly+Natasha In Oz from the blog Natasha in Oz is my biggest supporter and I am forever grateful for her help and contribution.


Natasha in Oz
Nominee: Be sure to tag each of the bloggers you nominate as well as me in your post. Go to each of their blogs and leave a comment that you have nominated them. Also, please answer the same 11 questions above.
I massive, warm thank you goes to Holly, who is an incredible inspiration to all in the blogging world and, in particular, the cancer awareness arena. She works tirelessly to spread her message and is incredible with outreach and interaction. I’m honoured that she would nominate +Determined to Cure for the Liebster Award.
Take care,

Calendar of Cancer Awareness Months

Thank you for visiting Determined to Cure. If this is your first time here welcome! If you are already a Determined to Cure friend, welcome back!

Choose Hope have produced these Cancer Awareness Months and Ribbon Colour charts. They are easy-to-read visual reminders of awareness days and colors but they are also sad reminders that we are fighting an extraordinary amount of cancers.

Cancer Awareness Calendar

http://www.choosehope.com/calendar-of-cancer-awareness-months


Are you determined to cure the incurable?

Take care and thank you for visiting,

Madeleine Moore

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea ~ Help the Cancer Council find a Cure for Cancer!

Thank you for visiting Determined to Cure. If this is your first time here welcome! If you are already a Determined to Cure friend, welcome back!

Determined to Cure

Did you know that more than 13,000 cancer deaths each year are due to smoking, sun exposure, poor diet, alcohol, inadequate exercise or being overweight?

We've put together this infographic to make it easy & simple for you to understand facts about cancer. Experience the interactive version via http://hope.cancercouncil.com.au

There are seven simple steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk:
  1. Quit smoking
  2. Eat for health
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Be SunSmart
  5. Limit alcohol
  6. Move your body
  7. Get checked, by having a regular Pap smear and mammogram if you are a woman and Prostate screening if you are a man.

All of this information came from research gathered over the years by the Cancer Councilan organisation that brings Australia’s leading state and territory cancer organisations together. Their vision is to minimise the threat of cancer through successful prevention, best treatment, support and world-class cancer research.

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea ~ Help the Cancer Council find a Cure for Cancer!


Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is one of Australia’s best-loved fundraising events, and plays a vital role in raising money towards Cancer Council’s work in research, prevention and support. 


The official date for the next Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is on Thursday 22nd May but events can be held any time during May or June. 

Register to host a morning tea at biggestmorningtea.com.au #biggestmorningtea


Why not get involved? Here is an easy recipe that you might to serve at your morning tea.



Australia’s Biggest Morning tea is a chance for Australians to get together and raise money for a cause. 1 in 2 Australians are diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85 but one dollar at a time we could make a difference in helping to fund Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention and support service programmes.


HOW YOUR MONEY HELPS!

$5 can help us give a newly diagnosed cancer patient important support and information resources for what’s ahead.

$10 can help offer easy, practical tips on recipes and lunch box ideas to encourage children to eat more fruit and veg to reduce their cancer risk.

$25 can go towards resources to help GPs and health professionals advise their patients about cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis.

$50 can help the Cancer Council Helpline (13 11 20) provide free and confidential information and support on all aspects of cancer.

$100 can go towards helping a childcare centre or primary school join the National SunSmart Schools Program.

$250 can go towards paying an overdue bill for a family who hasn’t been able to work.

$500 can help fund ground-breaking research into new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.


Want to get involved? Find more information here!




Be determined to cure the incurable. I am.

Take care and thank you for visiting,

Madeleine Moore

From awareness grows hope: Asbestos Awareness Week 2014

Eight years ago, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to educate people about this deadly disease and its cause. After learning more about Heather’s story, I knew I had to help her expose the dangers of asbestos. Australia banned the use of asbestos in the building industry in 2003 so it shocked me to learn asbestos and all products containing asbestos have not been banned in the USA! The World Health Organization reported “in 2004, asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis from occupational exposures resulted in 107,000 deaths and 1,523,000 DALYs (Disability-adjusted life year ). So, to highlight Asbestos Awareness Week which is April 1-7th Heather is going to share more of her incredible story to help spread the word about this terrible cancer and ways we can help ban asbestos and help victims of  mesothelioma.

Photo: This is Heather Von St. James. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life-saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to educate people about this deadly disease and it’s cause. Asbestos Awareness Week is just around the corner and we are hoping that you would be willing to help us spread the word. Asbestos has been used for many applications in the past including building materials in homes, office buildings, and naval ships. It is STILL not banned in all nations around the world! According to the World Health Organization, approximately half of all deaths from occupational cancer are caused by asbestos. Asbestos cancer diagnosis is difficult due to the symptoms of the disease mimicking those of other illnesses.Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/#ixzz2wuPv6j9J You can find Heathers awareness page here: http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/awareness/And more info about Mesothelioma Prognosis here:  http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/

My name is Heather Von St. James and I am a mesothelioma cancer survivor. Not many people have heard of mesothelioma, except on late night television when browsing for something good to watch. Mesothelioma used to be known as an old man’s disease, a disease that plagued veterans and construction workers who were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Once a person inhales the tiny fibers, they lodge themselves permanently in the lining of the lungs, weakening the immune system until mesothelioma appears, decades later. At 36 years of age, how did I get this?




When I was younger, one of my favorite pastimes was to wear my dad’s construction jacket when I needed to go about my chores in the bitter cold of South Dakota. Unbeknownst to me, this jacket was covered in white drywall dust from his construction job. How could this be? Every time I wore this jacket, I was breathing in more asbestos.

mesothelioma, Asbestos Awareness Week, Heather Von St. James, cancer, asbestos,


Eight years ago, when I was 36 years of age, I received the horrible news that I had pleural mesothelioma. Three months after giving birth to my daughter Lily, I dealt with rapid weight loss, chronic fatigue, and a strange heaviness in my chest. After numerous doctor visits and tests, I was told I had 15 months to live if I didn’t do anything. I refused not to do anything. That is not how I live. I would not let a diagnosis of a cancer stop me from enjoying future birthdays, holidays, graduations and the chance to see my daughter fall in love someday.

mesothelioma, Asbestos Awareness Week, Heather Von St. James, cancer, asbestos,


I was absolutely terrified and had so many thoughts running through my head but I would not allow Lily to grow up without a mother. My doctor referred me to Dr. Sugarbaker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where I would undergo an 8-hour surgery called an extrapleural pneumonectomy. On February 2, 2005, I had my left lung, the left half of my diaphragm and the lining of my heart removed.

mesothelioma, Asbestos Awareness Week, Heather Von St. James, cancer, asbestos,

Today, my mission is to help others by spreading awareness of this terrible disease in hopes that one day I can prevent this from happening to someone else. My faith has always been the thing that gets me through. All I have to do is think of all the amazing things that have transpired and all the incredible people I’ve met through my journey. I thank God each and every day for all I have. Do I know how long I’ll be around? No, none of us do. But while I’m here, I want to be what God has put me here to do and that is to be a beacon of hope. I am, after all, a lighthouse.

mesothelioma, Asbestos Awareness Week, Heather Von St. James, cancer, asbestos,

I am Heather Von St. James, an eight-year 
mesothelioma cancer survivor.

mesothelioma, Asbestos Awareness Week, Heather Von St. James, cancer, asbestos,

Asbestos Awareness Week is April 1-7th and I hope others will join me in spreading awareness by being a Voice for the Victims.

From awareness grows hope…Each voice could save a life! 

Read the Amazing Story of Cancer Survivor, Heather Von St. James, Asbestos Awareness Week.

Thank you to Heather and her family for sharing their inspiring story and for helping to raise awareness about mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Week.

Asbestos Awareness Week


You can find Heather on Facebook, Twitter @heathervsj, or through The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance . You can support Heather by sharing her video, and her blog. And if you would like, you can donate money to her fundraising page for The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

If you would like share this message on your social media sites please use the tag In honor of #Asbestos Awareness Week, I am giving my voice to the victims.

From awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life.

Photo: This is Heather Von St. James. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life-saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to educate people about this deadly disease and it’s cause. Asbestos Awareness Week is just around the corner and we are hoping that you would be willing to help us spread the word. Asbestos has been used for many applications in the past including building materials in homes, office buildings, and naval ships. It is STILL not banned in all nations around the world! According to the World Health Organization, approximately half of all deaths from occupational cancer are caused by asbestos. Asbestos cancer diagnosis is difficult due to the symptoms of the disease mimicking those of other illnesses.Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/#ixzz2wuPv6j9J You can find Heathers awareness page here: http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/awareness/And more info about Mesothelioma Prognosis here:  http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/

Take Care,

Smashing Walnuts: An NFP raising funds for childhood cancer

I recently came across Gabriella Miller on YouTube and was astounded by her intelligence, courage, positivity, wisdom and sheer radiance. She spoke so beautifully and showed wisdom beyond her years. Gabriella had an inoperable brain tumour, and I was devastated to learn that this gorgeous little girl passed away in October of last year.


I later came across an organisation in Gabriella's memory, +Smashingwalnuts Org. The NFP is raising awareness about and funding for childhood cancer and is completing incredible work. Why not give them a look and see the amazing work they do! Check them there website to find there social media accounts.


I am sure you will be as inspired and touched by Gabriella as I was.

Take care,
Madeleine Moore