How we got started
A Simple RSVP

In February 2003 while at a birthday party for one of my oldest daughter’s friends, I met Taresa Kellogg.  I think we just hit it off instantly, and visited throughout the party.  Then just a week later I would find out that I had breast cancer and a week after that a lumpectomy followed by another surgery to remove the lymph nodes under my arm.  All of this and still having to plan a birthday party for my daughter McKenzie who was excited about turning 6. 

While still trying to recover from the surgeries, I talked my husband into going ahead and taking the girls to their Indian Princess meeting and I assured him I would be fine.  As I sat there all alone for the first time in weeks I began to reflect on the last three weeks and feeling a bit sorry for myself when the phone rang – I know now that God sent one of his angels - it was Taresa Kellogg who was just calling to RSVP for my daughter’s birthday party.  I think all it took was her gentle voice asking me how I was doing – when I just unloaded on her and told her what the last 3 weeks had been like for me.  Looking back now I cannot believe that I just unloaded on someone I really hardly even knew.  Even though the phone had been ringing off the hook for the past 3 weeks from well wishers telling me everything would be just fine – I somehow felt compelled to talk to Taresa.  She was so reassuring and she told me about her friend and coworker Donna Cannon who had just finished treatment and asked if I would mind if she gave Donna my phone number.  I said it would be fine, and the next day I got a call from Donna.  It was so nice to get to talk to someone who really knew what I was going through and what I was feeling.  We began having lunch together in between each of my chemo treatments.  Donna has been such an inspiration to me as well as my mentor.  One by one Donna and I started hearing about other newly diagnosed women and we started inviting them to our lunch and feel blessed to be able to help others with this terrible disease.

To this day I cannot remember if Taresa’s RSVP was a yes or no.  But I do know that God sent her and Donna my way when I really needed them.  It is amazing what a simple RSVP started, this wonderful group of ladies has grown from 2 to over 30 in just 5 years, and I cherish all of them more than I can even express.

Barbra Stubbs