Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment?
I am very proud to be a JM Family Enterprises associate! One of the proudest days for me was during the 2007 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, of which JM Family was the presenting sponsor. I’m a breast cancer survivor and was asked by my company to say a few words and kick off the walk. I told my story in front of thousands of strangers, co-workers, family and friends and when I finished my speech and walked offstage, I removed my baseball cap and revealed my bald head! Until that day I wasn’t ready to just be out in public without a scarf or hat. Since then, I’ve mentored a few other co-workers who unfortunately have also had to battle breast cancer. I believe that was one of the lessons I learned during my journey – to help others going through it.
How have things changed for you through the years?
Going through a life-changing journey makes you look at things differently. I certainly appreciate time with my family and friends more.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?
People come and go from your life and may have served a purpose, but family and true friends are always there through the good and bad times.
How do you relax?
In the evenings on my balcony with a glass of wine overlooking the water and downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere in the mountains, but especially Jackson Hole, WY.
Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others?
Yes, and I refer to it from time to time. The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life?
Not in all aspects of my life, but the most important is that I’m healthy!
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher! I grew up with a neighbor’s kids – brother and sister – who were younger than me. We used to play school and I would be the teacher. To this day, Diana, the young girl from my childhood who was my “student”, still says I was a huge influence in her life. I must have been doing something right!
What word best describes your life right now?
Is there a non-profit event you really look forward to attending each year?
Glam-a-thon! Last year was my first year starting a team, Patty’s Pink Army, and I had so much fun at my fundraiser, attending the Glam events, and of course, the Glam Girl Strut! I walked away with one of the crowns for raising the most money based on the size of my team. I guess I have to “step” it up this year!
Who is your hero?
My mother. She is so giving, loving and unconditional and always has a smile on her face. Through good and bad times and when she isn’t feeling her best, she always puts her loved ones first.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
The mountains, cool weather, great scenery, great wine, great company and no cell phones!
What is your favorite sport?
Football – especially college football
What three things are always in your refrigerator?
Almond milk, blueberries, hummus. Not necessarily all eaten together!
What is your favorite room in your house?
What is your pet peeve?
What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor?
I ASKED PATTY TO GIVE ME A SHORT HISTORY OF HER CANCER!
I felt a lump on my right breast on Christmas night, 2006. After the holidays I scheduled an appointment to have it looked at. I was diagnosed on February 2, 2007 - a day after my ultrasound. Thankfully for my wonderful doctors at JM Family, the results were rushed and he had a plan laid out with my choices for my next steps on that Monday morning. By March 7 I was scheduled for my double mastectomy and started my 18 weeks chemo in April. It wasn't until November before all of my reconstruction surgeries were complete and I was put back together again!
Along this road I have been able to help others who are going through breast cancer. It’s a great feeling to be able to have learned so much through this journey and give hope to others.
I never imagined that I would have had the strength and courage to get through it. But my faith in God, the love of my family and friends is what helped me every step of the way.
A friend of mine told me in the beginning of my journey - “This is the walk you must walk right now, but soon you’ll be running again.” And now I'm 5+ years cancer-free! I have my sneakers on and ready to run in this life’s race. I’m looking at the road ahead of me and it’s a long one!
It nice to meet you. I was an Active Board member for Women and Distress for a number of years!
Miami Dolphins 1987-1996
I was very moved by your story and would like to speak with you. My boss is going for surgery tomorrow to have a lumpectomy followed by 6 weeks of radiation. My mom had breast cancer as well and had a double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery and has been doing well for many years since.
Seeing as you are so passionate about the topic (as well as wine from what I read)from personal experience, I wanted to discuss a fundraising idea with you utilizing Wines for Humanity. Please give me a call sometime so we can chat.
Patty, you have been and will be that beacon of light for so many more who will need your help to travel that road of HOPE. Your inspiration and that million dollar smile will mean so much. Keep up the good work.
Great article on a great person!
You and your family should be very proud.
Patty has always inspired me. So beautiful on the outside and a treasure on the inside. I am honored to know and work with Patty.
Patty- What an amazing story- thanks for sharing and being such an inspiration to so many! Can I be a virtual glam girl on your team?
I admire your strength & positive outlook Patty!! I'm honored to support you on the journey!! xo
Hi Patty I too am a breast cancer survivor for me it's been 17 years. I was diagnosed at the age of 35 . I know what you have been through going through it was not easy but it was all worth it!!!!! God bless you!! Stay STRONG!!! See you at the walk XO Barbara Casale
I have met Patty and must say she has a smile that lights up a room and a laugh that matches it.
Patty, thanks so much for sharing with all of us. You are an inspiration. When I first met you last year, you were always so positive about life. We can learn from you!