I was given my key by one of my closest friends, when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April 2015. I had no idea the journey that I was about to go on, nor did I know how much support I would need or how much a bracelet around my wrist could do.
I was bombarded with gifts during this time, but the key was one of the first gifts I received- and one that meant a lot more than it may appear to someone whose never heard of The Giving Keys or knew my story.
When surgeons told me the negative risks (death- sticks out the most), I would look down at my key, which said Courage, and try to remind myself that in order to get through this living hell I needed to have Courage.
I would often catch myself being caught by the light bouncing of the key. Maybe that was God's way of reminding me to have courage? I don't know. But I spent a lot of time looking at that bracelet.
It was one of the last things I took off my body before I went into surgery on June 1, 2015. After my head was sliced open, I had to go to the ICU, hospital, rehab for three weeks, and then back to the hospital. In that time I made sure to wear the bracelet as a reminder to keep moving forward. This came in handy, as I (at 23 years old) had to learn how to walk, and all I wanted to do was quit.
In October, one of my friends Jenn was diagnosed with breast cancer. So I decided Jenn would be the perfect person to pass my key on to. She was about to have a long hard journey. Even though Jenn is a strong woman, I knew this key could help her as it had helped me.
I am happy to say she is cancer free, I'm tumor free, and I we are both grateful for such a small token. I think it also helped Jenn and I have the courage to make smarter decisions about ourselves that will affect our health and our future.