Do you ever have those moments where you think about the people you’ve met in your life and about the random sequence of events that put them in your path? Or wonder how, without that chance encounter, you could have ever not known them? That is precisely what happened when we solicited nominations for the Consuela Life giveaway. While we received countless submissions about amazing people, we couldn’t help but keep coming back to one particular entry. Amy Hardman’s courageous story touched us so deeply that we wanted to share it with you with hopes that what you take from it, you wonder how you could have ever lived without. This is Amy’s story as told by her friend Winter in her Consuela Life entry:
“Amy is by far one of the most amazing, strong people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. I believe that Amy could actually embody all of the Consuela pillars, but if I had to choose one, it would be ‘Live in Color.’ She has a confident, determined attitude like no other. She is fierce and follows all her dreams and is achieving those right now and living out an amazing bucket list, which was started because of what happened to Amy in her life about 2 and a half years ago.
Amy’s life changed dramatically when her husband of 15 years, was diagnosed unexpectedly with Stage 4 Esophageal cancer. He was given 6 months to 1 year, to live. Dan was only 43 years old at the time. Amy was by his side around the clock, as Dan was in the hospital for the next 6 months, minus about 8 days. He fought a good, hard battle, but succumbed to cancer on September 30, 2011. While Dan was fighting his battle, Amy, only 35 at the time, found out she had Stage 3 breast cancer. Both had cancer at the same time. Dan and Amy also have 3 young children. Amy had her first chemo treatment a week before Dan passed away. Her hair fell out the day after Dan’s funeral. Amy spent the next year or so undergoing extensive and aggressive chemo and radiation treatments. She is a fighter and won her battle with cancer and is a survivor. She has been undergoing extensive reconstructive surgeries since her last treatment, and to date, still has 2 more surgeries before she is finally DONE. By the time she is done, it will have been 3 years since she was diagnosed.
Amy has displayed the grace and dignity that not many people could show, given the circumstances. She has been a true testimony to people and an amazing inspiration to SO many people. Her story is one of courage and being brave when she had no other choice but to fight with everything she had to be here for her children. She is truly amazing and her story is amazing and makes anyone who hears it, feel blessed to be alive.”
…and we couldn’t agree more. After speaking with Amy we realized that if anyone Lives in Color it is Amy, who despite facing unimaginable tragedy and loss, still finds the strength and courage to face each day head on. When Amy’s hair began falling out as a reaction to her chemo, she let each of her children cut off a lock and dye it hot pink. And when it grew back? Amy dyed every last strand flaming hot pink! Now she is closing in on what should hopefully be the last in a seemingly endless line of surgeries and her and her children are working their way through personal bucket lists. When we asked Amy how she was able to do this, how she was able to keep fighting when it seems like most people couldn’t do the same, she pointed us to something her late husband Dan used to tell her, “You will go to sleep tonight and tomorrow will be another day.”
We wanted to honor this lion-hearted woman and Dan’s incredible legacy, which is why we will be donating a portion of the sales from our Thanksgiving Sale to Amy and her family. It’s our hope that Amy and her children get to check off every single item on their bucket list and leave cancer permanently in the dust. Thank you Amy for showing us what a true hero (and bonafide badass) looks like!