Pin Sol Pine Sol DisclosureCollageJacqueline 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.   Pine Sol 2 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.   Brave Jackie!  


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


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  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  Void where prohibited.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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