My Lunch with @1ballerina, @SmileMoki and @KirkJaco

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

Did you ever wonder what it would be like if you put together the powerful energy of 4 other people into the same space that you occupy? Well, that is what I did yesterday as we, who met each other originally on Twitter, all met in person (some for the first time) and I can’t tell you how many things that were done and/or said that caused me to shake my head about the power of love and caring and sharing. So I thought that it would be worth it to share a bit about each of the 4 people so that perhaps you can get an idea about how grateful I am to have had these magical moments.

I can’t begin to tell you of the love and the living and the caring and the inspiration that each person brought to that table. I considered it a privilege to break bread with the others.

Let’s start with “@1ballerina”. This young lady, now 17, was faced with life-threatening Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 13. Through the power of a most dynamic spirit, she not only became a survivor but did so while dancing her way through her recovery that included chemo and radiation treatments. Through a journal that she kept at that time, she chronicled her experiences and published them in an award-winning book titled “Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey through Cancer and Recovery”. I have read this inspiring book and can’t begin to explain its impact on changing someone’s perspective about life and love. She travels around the country speaking in support of cancer research and works to raise money for a variety of cancer research programs.

This story wouldn’t be complete without introducing another member of the group, Lee, who is the mother of this child. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like if I had a child who was diagnosed with cancer. Not only was Lee the primary caregiver but she is also her daughter’s major champion. She drives her to and from her dance studio every day which is 40+ miles roundtrip. She assists with every aspect of her schooling and with handling the publishing company that they have established. She travels with her daughter to every event in the country, always making sure to encourage her and keep her safe. Yet this woman always remains in the shadows of her daughter’s public persona and provides nothing but pure love and pride in her child’s accomplishments.

For @SmileMoki, this is my second opportunity to visit with her while she is here. She is a life coach and after meeting her, I can tell you why she is so successful. She is very quiet and unassuming and understands life and people in a way that most of us will never achieve. She is non-judgmental and so interested in knowing about those forces with which others have dealt and is so willing to help out and support others in any way that she can. She is such an inspiration and is so appreciative and grateful for her life that she just allows that gratitude to spill over to her interactions with others.

The 4th member of our group was @KirkJaco, my husband, Kirk. There are no words that I could ever find to explain his importance to the group and to me in particular. He was my rock through two bouts of breast cancer and provided his love and support in a way that allowed for unbelievable healing. He is the originator of my website, offering to set it up and maintain it if I were willing to write and do what I wanted to do by way of helping others who had traveled the same roads as me with the cancer and with domestic abuse. He is the most wonderful man in the world and would give up his life for me, if that became necessary. He is the real living example of what a spouse can be and I would not trade him and his wonderful sense of humor for anything in the world.

Such is the nature of those who met yesterday. Kirk and I had met Moki before but the in-person meeting of all of the others was for the first time. I can’t begin to tell you of the love and the living and the caring and the inspiration that each person brought to that table. I considered it a privilege to break bread with the others. I know what so many people have to say about those who meet and share on social media sites such as Twitter but for me, Twitter has provided me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who have made a difference in my life and who will be my friends for the rest of my life. For that I am so very grateful.