When Cheryl Stevens first learned that she had stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, she wasn’t sure how she was going to get through her treatment.

Chemotherapy therapy seemed daunting and she didn’t know how her body was going to react to her medications, let alone what the atmosphere would be like in the chemo room.

As she started going to her treatments, she began meeting other patients and discovered a strong sense of camaraderie that existed in the chemo room, where other patients shared tips, stories and actually inspired one another.  The chemo room was a positive place, where people were helping each other get through a difficult time in their lives.

Because Cheryl had always relied on humor to help her get through challenging times, she thought the chemo room was the perfect place to bring a little levity! Cheryl began dressing up in costumes when she attended her treatments at the chemo room.  It made the time more fun during her treatments and it also brightened the atmosphere for her fellow patients. “Humor has always been my defense, so taking an awful situation and laughing about it made it better,” she says.

Soon the chemo room began turning into a party scene, as Cheryl and some of her friends would dress up, handing out leis and other trinkets.  Dressing up and sharing some laughs turned the chemo room into a monthly celebration, which not only lifted Cheryl’s spirit but also brought a lot of smiles to many of the other patients.

Now, over 9 1/2 years later, Cheryl is cancer free, but her visits to the chemo room continue. Shortly after her treatment was complete, Cheryl wanted to help inspire other patients going through cancer treatment, so she founded Flamingos for Hope, which reaches about 200 cancer patients in the Omaha area every month, bringing a little fun and a lot of laughs into their lives.

Read more about Cheryl’s journey with cancer and how she’s been using humor to brighten the treatment time for many other patients.

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