Surviving and Thriving: Recognizing Remarkable Cancer Survivors at Fort Financial
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every Friday this month, Fort Financial employees wore pink to raise awareness around cancer. Breast cancer – like all cancers – is a disease that doesn’t play favorites and can affect anyone.
Fort Financial is made up of a dynamic group of employees. Some have battled cancer firsthand while others have supported loved ones diagnosed with cancer. Their stories inspire us, their accomplishments humble us, and their presence enriches our workplace. We’re shining a spotlight on a few of our incredible employees who have not only battled cancer but emerged triumphantly and now serve as ambassadors of hope and inspiration within Fort Financial.
Casey Jones was diagnosed with cancer on January 30, 2023. His Lending Solutions department and co-workers rallied around him during his battle. Casey credits his team, family and pit bull, Pretty, with helping to keep his spirits up during treatments. Having others check in on him gave him strength to keep fighting.
Casey received the best news in July that he is cancer-free! He says that fighting and beating cancer has made him more conscience about spending as much time as he can with family and friends. He’s excited to start living life again, proudly as a cancer thriver.
Allen Schilb’s life forever changed on July 7, 2020 when she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, which is the most common form of breast cancer. She leaned on her family and faith after learning the news and beginning treatment. Even though Allen has been cancer-free since December 24, 2020, she still takes preventative medication to keep the cancer from recurring.
Allen’s cancer journey has changed her outlook on life. She lives life one day at a time and never takes anything for granted. She doesn’t waste time or energy on nonsense, instead choosing to focus on doing things that make her happy, which is helping others in need.
Sharing her story helps Allen maintain a positive mindset and gives her a strong sense of purpose. She advises anyone who is battling cancer to avoid interacting with negative people, stay focused on the treatment plan, and above all, fight fear with faith.
Becky Joost’s husband received news in September 2020 that he had Hodgkins Lymphoma. Becky’s support was unwavering during her husband’s initial hospital stay and chemotherapy treatments, and she found ways to lighten the mood during even the hardest phases of her husband’s cancer journey.
But she and her husband weren’t alone. Their friends, family and church family united around them from the beginning to set up a meal train and offer support however they could.
Being in a caregiver role, Becky encourages everyone to remember that while every cancer journey is different, it’s important to realize that you are not alone. She and her husband were surrounded by the best people. She credits that support with helping her reorganize priorities and accomplish things that she previously had not thought were very important.
Becky’s husband is now almost three years cancer free and back to his normal self. Her positive thinking has continued to be a source of strength as her family puts their cancer battle behind them.
Casey, Allen and Becky have shown us that courage, tenacity and determination know no bounds. We celebrate these remarkable Fort Financial employees who exemplify an unwavering resilience and strength in one of the hardest battles of their lives: cancer.
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