Cancer foundation helping Central Florida women preserve the ‘little moments’ in life

Financial assistance with rent, car payments, etc.

The Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida is helping women with breast cancer through a financial assistance program.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It’s the little moments in life, like playing with her 2-year-old son, that Dahlia McDonald no longer takes for granted after doctors diagnosed her with stage III breast cancer.

“You are fighting for your life,” Dahlia told News 6. “You do not know if you are going to wake up the next day, so any little thing, just the air, just waking up and seeing my baby, it is everything.”

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During Dahlia’s darkest days of treatment, it was the little things that kept her going, and those moments were preserved with financial help from the Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida.

The foundation helped pay for three months of rent and car payments so Dahlia could focus on treatment and recovery.

“Going through cancer and fighting that battle alone is difficult, but imagine if (you) cannot pay your bills while being a single mom of a two-year-old. You know, it is hard,” said Dahlia.

Founded by breast cancer survivors, the Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida helps women undergoing treatment maintain those little moments in life, so that they can focus on bigger things: like getting better.

Want to donate to the organization? You can donate here.

“We are trying to help them pay their rent, make their car payments, pay their kids’ soccer fees, whatever it may be to keep life as normal as possible for them while they’re going through the breast cancer treatment,” said Holly Tritchler, a founding member of the organization.

On average, the foundation helps about 20 women a month, from Tampa to Daytona Beach, forming a community so that those diagnosed with breast cancer know they aren’t alone.

“I remember when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Tritchler. “It was a complete shock to me. First, I have no one in my family that had it, and a lot of people that I know, that is the case as well.

“I was in my mid-40s, I had two children at home, one in middle school, one starting high school, and that was the hardest part: actually was telling them,” she added.

Going through breast cancer treatment? Apply for financial assistance here.

While doctors traditionally recommend screenings between 40 and 45 years old, Tritchler and others encourage women to get screened earlier if they feel it’s best for their bodies. After all, Dahlia was only 39 when she was diagnosed.

“I look at my two-year-old and I’m like, I have got to do this. I have got to fight because, you know, he doesn’t understand,” Dahlia said.

Dahlia said she once felt like her life might be over, but with support from her survival sisterhood, Dahlia now feels like she has a lifetime ahead of her.

“I do not even know how to explain it, but I am so grateful for the cancer foundation. They have been everything,” she said.

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