Malas For Tatas Current Recipient, Anne

Anne Conaway, our current recipient

Anne is an amazing woman. She is an adventurous spirit, spending much of her twenties traveling and living abroad. Once she landed in her thirties, managing a career, she decided that she wanted to become a mother. Being a single woman, it presented its challenges but did not stop her from pursuing her dreams of motherhood. She underwent IVF and became pregnant with twins. What a joy!

Even though she was single, she was not on her own. Family and friends came together, excited to join Anne in this new adventure. Anne's twins are delightful! However, just a few years into their time as a family together, they were faced with a new challenge. Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer last June. She started chemotherapy on the kiddo's first day of kindergarten.

They have all banded together and endured chemotherapy, and eventually a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Anne is not even a year out from her diagnosis and after celebrating her 40th birthday last month, is just beginning to feel like herself again. She is looking forward to showing up 100% for herself and her family.

Let's support Anne through her next adventure, friends! All profits made from sales of malas through June of 2019 go to Anne and her continued recovery. 

From left to right, Erin LeBel, Anne Conaway, and Jeanine Apolinar

From left to right, Erin LeBel, Anne Conaway, and Jeanine Apolinar

Erin LeBel

Erin LeBel

Jeanine Apolinar, malas for Tatas Past recipient

We were introduced to Jeanine though her cousin Monique, a chemo nurse at Denver Health. Jeanine is a huge-hearted woman who works for the Denver Police Department, working night shifts and covering overtime regularly. She dedicates her time to her family, often helping with the care her mother as needed. 

Jeanine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 just 2 days before Christmas. After speaking with her oncologist, she chose not to have a mastectomy and began chemotherapy, a five-year process. She also underwent several months of radiation, leaving her feeling completely exhausted and often in pain. The weakness and exhaustion that resulted from these treatments felt disheartening since, in the past, she prided herself in being physically fit.

With the help she received from your donations, Jeanine is excited to make self-care and fitness a priority again, regardless of the continued treatment. Her no excuse attitude and positivity is contagious.  Jeanine plans to use Pilates and other holistic therapies to help rehab her back and manage the pain from her cancer treatment. She is excited to be on her way back to health and is looking forward to “Paying it forward” by volunteering her time at a beading brunch and hosting a Malas for Tatas trunk show in May.

Erin LeBel, Cofounder of Malas for Tatas

Erin is an emergency room nurse at Denver Health Medical Center, Denver’s main trauma hospital. As you would expect, this takes huge dedication and focus on each person in her care.  She loves her line of work, often occupied by 12 hour shifts through the night to be of service. She is surrounded by a loving family, 2 girls, 8 and 7 years old, and a husband who thinks the world of her. All the while, her self-care was put on the back burner.

Erin received a breast a cancer diagnosis on Valentines Day 2018, after a mammogram revealed a 3 cm mass in her left breast. A previous oncology nurse herself, she knew the seriousness of regular mammograms, so it was a surprise that on her second screening ever, there was concern.

Aggressive treatment began immediately.  Chemotherapy shrunk the mass and the remainder was removed through a lumpectomy.  During the procedure they confirmed that cancer had spread into her lymph nodes. In the end her team removed 23 lymph nodes, 8 that tested positive for cancer. After a short period of recovery, it was time to begin Radiation.

Erin, naturally a proactive person, with the help of donations from Malas for Tatas, did everything she could to maintain a normal lifestyle during this time. She saw her acupuncturist regularly, improved her diet, received reiki healing energy treatments, and tried her best to keep moving when she felt good. As per her oncologists advise, Erin continues chemotherapy to decrease the chance of cancer metastasizing elsewhere. She has since passed the torch on to new recipients, but continues regular self-care through Pilates, lymphatic massage, swimming, and yoga.