When Life Gets Tough, Jacqueline Rises Above Breast Cancer Heather Hopson December 11, 2013 Uncategorized Jacqueline Howard has a smile as bright as the sun. It lights up a room and warms the hearts of everyone inside. Because her joy overflows, most people assume she hasn’t experienced much pain. But behind her smile lies a deeper story. At the age of 12, her mother suddenly passed away. And by the time Jacqueline turned 30, she had attended funerals for her father and sister as well. Over the years, when life got tough, she rose above it. She learned to be strong in order to survive. And that strength helped her live life. She obtained two degrees, got married, and gave birth to a son. Life became better each day. Then, she received more bad news. Her doctor diagnosed her with breast cancer, and she stopped being strong. Instead, she decided to surrender it all to God and smile. Once Jackie, my Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sister, told me, “I am smiling because I have joy that surpasses all understanding. I’ve always believed in God and been a spiritual person, but cancer gave me a hunger to know him intimately. There were times when I was so scared. I was very afraid of the unknown: Would chemo hurt? How would I look without hair? Would I hate my body without breasts? Would I die? If I die, who would take care of my husband and son? I prayed for that fear to be replaced with peace. I learned to be weak and give all of my concerns to God. I could not conquer cancer alone. I know it sounds crazy, but I am a better person because of it.”Jackie’s cancer also made me a better person. When I feel like something is impossible to overcome or achieve, I think about the mountains she has scaled with dignity, style and grace. For instance, most women would cry at the thought of losing their hair. Not Jackie. She sat in a barber’s chair and got her hair shaved off before it fell out. She controlled cancer. She fought it on her terms and felt beautiful with or without her hair. And throughout her chemotherapy, she didn’t cover up her baldness with wigs or hats. According to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the makers of Pine-Sol® Products, most women have a Jackie in their life. They reported that their biggest female role model is someone they know personally, not a celebrity or political figure. Maybe she battled breast cancer. Or perhaps she rose above poverty, disease, disabilities, abuse or addictions. Or maybe when life got tough, she didn’t give up, pursued her passions or inspired others with her hope and perseverance. So to recognize and celebrate such strong and remarkable women, Pine-Sol® launched the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign. From now through January 31, women across the country are encouraged to submit their own stories of triumph by logging onto WomenRiseAboveIt.com. By sharing how you rose above a tough time, you could help others and win you a prize at the same time! Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol® will award one lucky winner everything from flower bouquets and Pine-Sol® coupons to complimentary house cleaning services for a year. A grand prize winner will receive an all-inclusive trip to a spa at a deluxe hotel. Just as exciting—Pine-Sol® has donated $25,000 to Women Empowered, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates and supports women of all ages and backgrounds to give back to their communities. So what are you waiting on? Rise up to the challenge to share your story! How did you turn what seems like a tragedy into a triumph? NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.