Archive for October, 2022

United Aviate Academy volunteers to assemble My Hope Bags

By Sarah Ellery

Monday, October 24, My Hope Bag traveled to United Aviate Academy in Goodyear to meet with some of their staff and students. United Aviate Academy trains future pilots with United Airlines. We had a delightful time with them while they assembled 50 bags for our future use. They also bagged the bracelets for the bags, bagged thank you cards, and assembled Thrive Causemetics into Thrive Causemetics cosmetic bags which also went into the bags.

A big thank you to Sherri who coordinated the event. Thank you also to staff members Carmen and Pam as well as students DeAnna, Isabelle, Brittney, and Jinhua. The ladies assembled the bags with all contents in a little over an hour.  One suggested we bring 200 bags next time. I said, “Done!”

Their generosity saved My Hope Bag hours of assembling bags on an as-needed basis. Thank you again, lovely ladies. We had a great time and sure look forward to future events with you.

Hope Sisters tell all: How it started vs. How it’s going

Our Hope Sisters are an integral part of My Hope Bag. Every single one has a different story. A few of our Hope Sisters share: How it started Vs How it’s going, and what they’ve learned about themselves along the journey!

Kim McCauley:

During Chemo and current wrote in vacation in  New Orleans.  What I learned about myself?  That I am stronger than I ever thought possible. And I am thankful that I truly believed it would get better. Cause I did!!!

Sally Nettleton:
Never take life for granted. It can change on a whim. I’m a 10-year survivor and love to travel and am currently in Alamos, Mexico. When I was going through chemo, my husband shaved his head for me.
Marci Cox:
I am stronger than I thought. I made a bad situation into something good and have found a new love for helping others get through their diagnosis and journey.

Mandi Pokorney:

– I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 after going in for my first mammogram screening at age 40. I had elected to get the 3D mammogram screening which picked up some irregularities. My diagnosis required several rounds of chemo and I elected to have a double mastectomy. After 2 years of treatment, I beat breast cancer! I was absolutely overwhelmed and grateful for all of the support, love, and encouragement I received from family, friends & co-workers during my treatment.  My healthcare provider team was outstanding and helped me every step of the way. All of the support from friends, family, physicians, and co-workers allowed me to stay focused on my fight against breast cancer and overcome!

– Preventative screenings and early detection result in better outcomes and longer lives!  Don’t put off your preventative mammography screenings! For those survivors out there, please share your story whenever possible, it’s so beneficial for women going through treatment and fighting cancer to see survivors living with vitality and optimism!


Kay Sinclair:
Been fighting for almost four years and always will unless a miracle happens since I am stage 4 and systematic.  I have learned to let faith take over this journey and not to have fear!  And to enjoy one day at a time by exploring your buck list and going with the flow that days give you.  I give thanks and blessings for each day so am given.

Lifestyle and the role it can play in cancer prevention

By Lizzy Ellery, MHB Vice President


In the world today, we are overloaded with an exhausting list of options when it comes to our health. From the recommendations for which diet plan to follow, how many minutes a week to exercise, and the things we should do versus the things we shouldn’t do. It can just be very overwhelming. Especially when you have cancer on the mind.

According to American Cancer Society, “For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are body weight, diet, and physical activity. At least 18% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.” (, 2022)

At this point in time, there isn’t a way to fully ensure you prevent cancer from occurring. There are many, many factors that contribute to the development of cancer, not to mention the genetic aspect. Even though we may not know for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that lifestyle will in fact help prevent cancer, it couldn’t hurt to at least adopt some of those lifestyle changes (just in case). There are many resources that indicate lifestyle changes can yield positive outcomes. Here are a few resources to review when you consider what you can do to make these changes in your own life if you choose.


Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life.

Keep your weight within the healthy range and avoid weight gain in adult life.


Be physically active.

Adults: Get 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Getting to or exceeding the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal.

Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day.

Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.


Follow a healthy eating pattern at all ages.

A healthy eating pattern includes:

Foods that are high in nutrients in amounts that help you get to and stay at a healthy body weight

A variety of vegetables – dark green, red, and orange, fiber-rich legumes (beans and peas), and others

Fruits, especially whole fruits in a variety of colors

Whole grains

A healthy eating pattern limits or does not include:

Red and processed meats

Sugar-sweetened beverages

Highly processed foods and refined grain products


It is best not to drink alcohol.

People who do choose to drink alcohol should have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men.

We all fully support the idea of living your best life! Don’t dwell on the unknown, rather enjoy your life and adopt the healthy habits that are meaningful to you.


Additional resources to consider:

Breast Cancer Resource Foundation – Nutrition Care for Breast Cancer Patients

Our message in October during breast cancer awareness month

By Lizzy Ellery, MHB Vice President

You’re probably already aware that breast cancer awareness month happens in October. As soon as you start seeing Halloween and fall decorations in the stores, you’re likely to see a sea of pink accessories as well, in an effort to promote awareness.

Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to the hype of October. Taking out the commercialism aspect of the month, we choose to look at it as a great time to remember to schedule your mammograms, bring awareness to prevention techniques, and share important resources.

So, before you do anything else, get your mammogram scheduled! Imaging centers may already be booked for October, but at the very least, get it scheduled so you can move on and have one less thing on your to-do list. My Hope Bag (MHB) partners with Solis Mammography to offer free mammograms to those who are uninsured or underinsured. Please do not let money stand in the way of your prevention.

Mammograms are still the best way to detect breast cancer early. When it is caught early, it is generally easier to treat. It may not be big enough to feel or cause symptoms, but would be visible for imaging machines to pick up (CDC, 2021). We always urge women (and men) to be their own advocates. If you feel like something is not right or have concerns, contact your doctor, and get an appointment as soon as possible.

We’ve got a lot of information all October long. Stay tuned!