“I always carry the empathy in my heart, and I don’t know how much longer I have, but I am being happy with each day.”

Name: Sister Mary ‘Rita’ Joseph Jarrell,
Age: 73
Job: Chaplain of Hosparus of Louisville, Norton Pavilion on the weekends – Works with breast cancer patients
Diagnosis: Stage 2 adenocarcinoma at the age of 37
Advice You Would Give To Newly Diagnosed Women: My mantra comes from the little engine that could “I know I can.” Get yourself a mantra.
Changes You Made: Made a big change with holistic health and taking health classes regarding diet, proper food, positive thinking, exercise and cognitive thinking. How you think about yourself has a direct influence on your immune system. Had a thyroid problem, and started taking vitamins. I am currently on a heavy regimen of vitamins, strict diet and regulatory exercises.

Advice Rita Gives To People With Loved Ones Battling Breast Cancer: If you have a loved one diagnosed, remember what that person has done for you, whatever it is you consider significant hold on to it and say thank you.

Best Thing Someone Did For Rita During Her Battle: They didn’t give up on me. I didn’t have a lot of people to contact. It helped me stay positive when people encouraged me. It’s nice to hear that the topic is on the table. Back when I was diagnosed, we didn’t have people that wanted to help. There’s now a ton of places for support.

Will you be attending our Pink Woman Fashion Show? We’d love to see you there on October 19! Find out more details here.

Photo by Melissa Donald