This time of year you see lots of pink, and for good reason. Breast cancer awareness is something that has helped save millions of lives over the years, and having lost my mom to a battle with breast cancer, I am so grateful to see more and more women winning the fight!
Sadly not everyone does, one of those women is Jennifer Merendino, shortly after Jen and the love of her life, Angelo, were married, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Throughout her fight, Angelo documented her journey with pictures that tell their story, many of which are included in a book that Angelo has written called, "The Battle That We Didn't Choose: My Wife's Fight With Breast Cancer". Angelo said he will never forget the sound of Jennifer's voice on the phone the day that she was diagnosed, he says it left him numb. They learned to navigate through their struggles thanks to their friends and family, who cared for them, helped with everyday chores and raised money to help them cover their medical expenses.
The love they felt from their friends and family was Angelo's inspiration to turn their own personal tragedy into a triumph for others. Angelo's book and pictures are helping fund a charity called "The Love You Share", which helps provide financial assistance to women who are battling breast cancer. Angelo says that it is fitting legacy to honor Jennifer's memory.
Angelo says that each challenge brought them closer, one night, battling extreme pain, she grabbed Angelo's arm and said, "look into my eyes, it's the only way I can get through this." Angelo says that he learned so much from Jennifer through this fight, "Jennifer taught me to love, to listen, to give, and to believe in others and myself. I've never been as happy as I have during this time."
Angelo hopes that their story would be a reminder to all of us to, as Jennifer put it, "Love every morsel of the people in your life."
You can find out more of Jen's story and see some of their pictures here: