My name is Lisa Center, and I’m from Kansas. My story involved my real mom (pictured right) and my jewelry mom. I met Tanya Burk (my jewelry mom) through another friend at her jewelry party in 2012 and agreed to host a show. At that time, my mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was raising money to do the Susan G. Komen 60-mile walk. When I talked to Tanya, she agreed to have my show be a fundraiser and donated a portion of her profits to my cause. She was great, and that was my first show with her. I did many years of many shows with her after that, and then I finally became a Jeweler myself in July 2015.
My mom was diagnosed in 2011, and she had a mastectomy later that year. My thoughts and feelings at the time were all over the place. I thought I was going to lose my mom, and I had no idea what the future had in store for us. My dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer at the end of the same year, and I just thought I was going to lose both of them at the same time.
My mom and I are very close. I was by her side each step of the way. When she had to have an MRI, I was right there, holding her hand because she is claustrophobic.
My advice is to stay strong and use your friends as a support system. I didn’t want my mom to worry about anything while she was recovering, so I wanted to help her in any way I could. Some people don’t want to burden their friends and family, but that is what we are there for—to help each other through the hard times. Her burden was my burden and together we each carried a piece of it.
My mom is currently doing great. She gets routine follow ups and has had a clean bill of health. I am thankful every day for her! I am also thankful for my jewelry mom, Tanya. Because of her support at the time, I was able to do the Susan G. Komen 60-mile walk in honor of my mother in October 2012. I will forever be grateful for her contribution.