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Jill Savage to Speak at Pray for the Cure

 Community Cancer Center September 02, 2015
Nationally Known Author Shares Her Faith Journey Through Breast Cancer

By Linda Hankemeier

Jill Savage can tell you, “When life gets hard, faith can get hard, too.” Jill’s faith has always been an important part of her life. She is an author and speaker who is passionate about encouraging families, and frequently provides a faith perspective as she offers strength and guidance for family relationships. She’s written nine books, spoken at hundreds of events, has been featured on radio shows such as Focus on the Family and websites such as Crosswalk.com, and she currently hosts the Heartbeat radio program.

Even with all of these accomplishments, many people know Jill best as the founder and director of Hearts at Home, a nationwide organization that encourages moms.

A little more than a year ago, Jill added another accomplishment to her life – that of breast cancer survivor. Out of nowhere, she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in November 2013.

“When I sat there and realized, ‘I’m getting results saying I have cancer,’ it completely surprised me,” recalled Jill. “Those results changed the trajectory of my life last year. For me, that was when the fear kicked in, and I had to manage that through my faith.”

While it is common for people to ask, “Why me?” when they face a cancer diagnosis, Jill said she didn’t experience that feeling. “We live in a broken world. Our health circumstances aren’t based upon our faith; they’re based upon our world and the health of our body.”

“The place I struggled most was fear,” Jill continued. “If I died, my young adult children wouldn’t have a Mom through critical years of their lives. My grandchildren would have to live without Nana. Until my cancer diagnosis, I naturally assumed I’d live a long life. This diagnosis required me to put my faith in action; I had to deal with my fears of the unknown and lean on God through scripture and prayer.”

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.  Women who have gone through this painful illness frequently say friends, family, and faith make a significant impact on their quality of life during treatment and after.

Jill will be sharing her experience with faith and breast cancer at Pray for the Cure. This non-denominational event offers an opportunity for people across the community to come together to share in faith, support, and celebration of life, during and after breast cancer.  

This is the fifth year Pray for the Cure has been held in Bloomington-Normal, and the first year the event will include a keynote speaker. The event also features inspirational readings, music, and an opportunity for people impacted by breast cancer to connect and provide support to one another.

Linda Butler, who was a Chaplain Resident at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center at the time, started Pray for the Cure in 2003. Butler, a breast cancer survivor herself, had seen the benefit of faith, family, and friends had made on women impacted by breast cancer, similar to her own experience three years before.

Pray for the Cure is sanctioned by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. While not a race event, it’s meant to precede the race as a spiritual and emotional care program. Pray for the Cure was first held in Peoria in 2004.

Jill said speaking at Pray for the Cure is a great blend between her faith journey and cancer journey. “I want to encourage women who also find themselves on this journey, and what to do with their faith in the middle of it.

For more information on this year’s event: find them on Facebook at Pray for the Cure, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Contact Rev. Cheryl Peterson-Karlan, Chaplain — Community Cancer Center, 309-451-2259, cpeterson-karlan@cancercenter.org  Contact Rev. Cheree Johnson, Coordinator for Church Relations — Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, 309-268-3504, cheree.johnson@advocatehealth.com. Back to Top

 Community Cancer Center| September 02, 2015
Categories:  Disease/Illness

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