Julie Moser and Jen Reynolds cope with their own problems associated with breast cancer.
For Moser, it is physical ailments. For Reynolds, it is depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. But they have retained their sense of humor and complement each other, and they know that even after reconstruction and the hair grows back, nothing is “normal” again as breast cancer patients find a new normal.
Pink Warrior Angels, a nonprofit that operates out of Moser’s home and seeks to help cancer patients and their families through the chemotherapy and recovery processes, celebrated its first anniversary Saturday with a ribbon-cutting, food, games and festivities at the parking lot at the old H-E-B.
Fifteen booths, offering assorted good and services, were set up in the parking lot.
“It’s very humbling and exciting,” Moser said about the community support.
Moser and Reynolds founded Pink Warrior Angels, and both are breast cancer survivors. Their organization seeks to help provide financial help for those in need, and 100 percent of its proceeds are given directly to breast cancer survivors.
“Within 12 months, we have quadrupled our survivors that we help and our volunteers,” Moser said to a crowd gathered in the parking lot, just before the ribbon-cutting.
“We’re so busy that we don’t know if they’re coming or going most days, and that’s OK, because we’re still helping others and helping them through their battle. We want to ensure that nobody feels alone while they’re going through treatment of any type of cancer.”
Her group supported Connor Hedge, a 5-year-old House Creek Elementary School boy, who died July 10; and Andrew Nixon, Cove High School’s director of music and director of bands, who died in May.
“We don’t ever want anybody to feel alone, whether it’s the beginning of their treatment, middle of their treatment or years past their treatment,” Moser said, mentioning she has ailments she endures.
Reynolds, who is from New Braunfels, said there is a Pink Warrior Angels chapter in the New Braunfels-San Antonio area.
“We had an inaugural gala down there in April and we were able to raise about $20,000 for people who are angels, which as of today was one of our biggest fund-raising events,” she said.
She described how angels are the ones who have been through treatment and warriors who are now going through treatment, and they are paired up so they don’t feel alone. Warriors are all over the country, and donations are coming from all over the country.
“I just wanted to thank you guys here in Copperas Cove for everything you’ve done,” Reynolds said. “I’m not up here too much, but it’s really awesome to see this turnout today. ... It really is so amazing that you guys have just opened your arms up to us and welcomed us into your town, and I’m so thankful for everybody here. So I really appreciate everything.”
After the ribbon-cutting, Moser and Reynolds talked about the help the group provides, which includes meal and gas cards but also can be services such as grass-cutting, baby-sitting and pet-sitting — those unexpected expenses that occur after a cancer diagnosis.
Trisha Lewis said the business she works with, Perfectly Posh, is affiliated with empowering women, and she thought it would be a great opportunity to be a sponsor for Pink Warrior Angels.
Her booth offered “pampering products,” such as soaps and lotions, with items selling for $5 and others items being donated.
“We do fundraising for Pink Warriors,” Lewis said. “We’ve had a lot of women donate products. Especially for women going through breast cancer, we want them to feel girly and feminine again, so we offer them a lot of opportunity for them to get back to that.”
Pink Warrior Angels financially assisted close to 20 families since becoming a 501(c)3 in July 2015. Pink Warrior Angels has a broad social media presence, and the group’s website is at pinkwarriorangels.org.