SEMINOLE, Fla. — Two Pinellas County women are not letting their battles with cancer stop them from helping others.
- Two Pinellas women with cancer helping other fight the disease
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- My Hope Chest
In fact, they are giving back to women in similar situations.
That why each day is a gift for Kristie Merchant and Sandi Geller. And each day, they try to pay it forward with love, compassion and help others in need.
Three years ago, the women met while working as volunteers at My Hope Chest in Seminole.
"Our mission is to help women with their breast reconstruction after they've had breast cancer," Merchant said.
For many breast cancer surgery survivors that is often something they can not afford even with medical insurance. Financial help may be available at the non-profit organization.
Merchant has been fighting cancer for several years.
"I'm very fortunate to have a great support system," she said. "I have a great family. I have two amazing kids. So they help me along the way. But for a lot of women, they don't have any family and they're kind of walking the journey by themselves."
Geller also is on the front lines.
Though not specifically dealing with breast cancer, Geller also has been dealing with cancer.
"I was terminal and no cure," she said. "But I quickly realized in that hospital bed that everybody is terminal.
"From the moment you are born, you are terminal."
For both these extraordinary women, the days are not spent thinking about their challenges.
"To me, this is pretty important," Geller said. "(I'm) helping other women.
"And though it's not the same cancer, I can still relate. I can Still empathize. I can still advise, I can still hand-hold. And comfort."