Love Button Global Movement was present in the form of pink Love Buttons at a special celebration for a special woman on January 7, 2017. Tracy McNeal, a Love Button Global Movement supporter, celebrated a particularly special birthday this year after she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on October 6, 2016. Surrounded by family and friends, and covered in pink Love Buttons, Tracy, her husband Will, and their three daughters were able to enjoy a love-filled, carefree evening.
In the fall of 2016, Tracy discovered a nodule in her breast which led to her breast cancer diagnosis. After an anxiety-ridden few weeks awaiting test results, doctors determined that the cancer was caught early and her prognosis appeared promising. Despite this, chemotherapy was going to be a necessary part of her treatment plan. She and Will were encouraged by the prognosis, but fearful of having to relay the news to their 4-year old, 6-year old, and 8-year old daughters. They prepared an age-appropriate explanation of what cancer is and mustered up the courage and confidence to relay it to them. Despite the initial struggles, the family was able to accept the treatment plan and move forward as normally as possible.
Through the coming weeks, Tracy and Will began noticing textbook signs of diabetes in their 4- year old. This fear was confirmed on November 11 th , when their daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was admitted to the hospital with a blood sugar of 600 and an A1C of 12, which are much higher than optimal. The permanence of her diagnosis, in addition to the trials of cancer diagnosis and treatment, created a lasting shift in their family dynamic. They were heavily burdened by the influx of hardship that had come into their lives.
With her chemotherapy treatment approaching, Tracy and her family were looking forward to her mother moving in with them to assist with the children and help keep daily life as “normal” as possible. This plan was altered when her mother suffered her first epileptic seizure and was admitted to the hospital. After a few days, she was discharged with orders from her doctor to not drive for six months. Although her mother and father are still able to help the family as much as possible, this added even more strain to the already challenging scenario the family was placed in.
2016 brought hardship and struggle to the McNeal family, but it also brought an influx of love, support, and friendship from their loved ones and community. Their challenges have taught them to find joy and happiness in everyday life. They appreciate the beauty in all things, especially spending time together. And although they still face anger or sadness, they choose to focus on the powerful healing abilities of love.
The Love Button Global Movement Family continues to shower this family with Love and Light.