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We Are Survivors

Karen Wellington Foundation.

June is National Cancer Survivorship Month! It is a time where we celebrate the survivors who make up our KWF community. June is a month to reflect on those currently LIVING with cancer, those in remission as well as those who continue LIVING ON through our shared vision. Not only does KWF provide FUN, but we also provide community through a growing sisterhood rooted in survivorship. Read on below to hear from our friend & KWF recipient, Autumn McKinley as she discusses what this month means to her. -The KWF Team

Welcome to June, and the month where we celebrate with gratitude and grace being gifted time. A reflection to be grateful that we are the ones who joined the 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer, and our journeys have continued for us to live another day. We get to share experiences and continue to make memories. We are survivors who have endured one of the greatest battles we would face in our lifetimes and then through organizations like KWF, united by a sisterhood embedded with the spirit of experiencing fun on this journey. We have found joy, strength, and community with our precious remaining moments in this vast and glorious thing called life.

When I was asked to write this piece, I was preparing to celebrate entering 42 years of 365s. Birthdays are a reflection point for me, like many others, and often like a New Year, I start to think about what I want this next go-round to look like. I also begin to reflect on what has the past years been like. Choices I made and those moments where choices were not mine to make, but my journey to be experienced, learn, and grow. There are moments that I am still in awe of when I look at the family I have created and the friends and community that I have been blessed to be a part of. A business that developed out of one of the most trying experiences I have ever faced. There is an acknowledgment of the pains, mistakes, and sorrows I endured and the impacts and strengths they have taught me. All are part of the unique experiences that tell a story, our stories.

These magical and manic moments are part of the beauty of our unique fingerprints on a timeline that has existed far before us and will exist long after we are gone. They become part of something that can never be wiped away and is part of an enormous, beautiful, and impactful experience. This month serves as a reminder to choose happiness, embrace the messiness, give yourself love and grace, and be proud of the journey you experienced along the way. We are survivors.

With Love,

Autumn McKinley

About Autumn:

Autumn is an abstract artist and jewelry designer who has spent 15 years working in the country's nonprofit, advocacy, and community organizing sectors. She was always a fan of the arts and discovered her inner artistic voice while undergoing breast cancer treatment in 2017. Art became her form of healing, a place of strength, and a way to share love .

Now a survivor, she turned her passion for color and texture into a growing business with @ArtbyAutumnM and @AllCheri. She views time as magical moments to inspire and be inspired. An adventure to learn, grow, relearn, experience, shape, and share the beauty in our world.

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