Dippin' Dots Honors, Celebrates, and Supports its Employees & their Families

Breast cancer is a disease that impacts many lives, including the lives of some of our own Dippin’ Dots family. We asked Dippin' Dots employees to share their stories of how breast cancer impacted their life, or their family’s life, to support, honor & celebrate those who have fought, or are fighting, the disease. Read their stories below.

We Can Make A Difference

Terri, Marketing

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2009. It was quite the welcome to Breast Cancer Awareness Month - I was suddenly painfully aware.

My family doctor discovered the lumps during a routine exam. I eventually learned that I had three different types of breast cancer, and four different tumors. I hadn’t had a mammogram in several years because of insurance issues at the time, and I ignored some fairly obvious symptoms because I had no family history and no classic risk factors, other than being female.

But I also brushed things off because I was busy being a mom and a wife and a sister and friend. I thought that I was doing the right thing by putting everyone else’s needs first. But I wound up putting my family through a very hard year or so, that could have been much less traumatic if the disease had been detected earlier. Countless surgeries, endless tests and scans, months of chemo and treatment all took quite a toll on my family – emotionally, physically and financially. Some of those issues are still impacting us nine years later.

Our friends and family created a support network that was a lifeline to us, performing endless acts of kindness that we didn’t even know we needed. I will always be grateful to everyone who helped us through that rough time.

I am also extremely grateful to now work for a company that shares a passion for the fight to end breast cancer. Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn’s partnership with Susan G Komen is doing more than just raising awareness – it’s a tangible step in funding Komen’s research in treatment and early detection. 

We can do so much more than talk about a cause, or decorate with pretty pink ribbons. Together, we can make a real difference and help Komen end breast cancer.

Memories of Grandma

Anne, Health, Safety & Environmental

My grandma, Lois Dostart died of breast cancer in 1989.  I was only three years old when she passed, but I have a few memories of visiting her in rural Iowa – mostly of husking corn with her and terrorizing her chickens.  Those memories are responsible for the fact that I keep my own backyard flock now.  Lois was a strong lady who, after living through the Great Depression, went on to raise seven children while working full-time as a switchboard operator for AT&T.  At the time of her death, she only had five grandchildren – if she were still with us she would have a total of nineteen of us to enjoy!  I don’t personally remember it, but I’m told the last thing I said to her was: “Have fun in Heaven, Grandma!”  I like to think she’s doing just that.

Breast Cancer and Sisters...Our Story

Holly, Sales Team

July 2016 was a very trying time for my family, especially my sister. She got the news that she had a malignant tumor in her breast and that it was an aggressive form of breast cancer. Before she could even process all of this, they were putting her through all of the tests, getting her port put in for chemo therapy, and getting her set up and scheduled for chemo. We decided it was probably good that it went that way because it didn't give her time to think or react. She just went through the motions and did whatever she had to do to fight this with a positive attitude. She surrounded herself with positivity and would not allow herself to be pitied or allow people to be sad around her. We feel that made a huge difference in her overall outlook and treatment plan and how she was able to literally march through it all!  Her breast surgeon sent her in for the normal BRCA1 and 2 genetic testing, but while meeting with her genetic counselor, she learned that there is another gene panel that should be tested as well and she opted to have that additional genetic testing done. This additional gene panel tests 17 additional genes and she was positive for the PALB2 gene - an abnormal PALB2 gene increases breast cancer by 58%, as well as other forms of cancer. With that, any direct family member then has a 50/50 chance of being either positive or negative. I immediately got tested and I too was positive for the PALB2 gene. We shared the news with our other siblings and with my daughter (who also was tested and is positive). 

Once my sister completed her chemotherapy and her double mastectomy, I elected to also have a prophylactic double mastectomy. Our mother had breast cancer in the late 80’s and after discussing it with my sister, my daughter, and the doctors, I felt I would be tempting fate if I didn’t have the surgery. I had choices and I had power over at least this portion of the results. 

We are both doing well. My sister had to have Chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation, and a final reconstruction surgery in 2017. This experience, while very scary and life changing, has bonded us even more than before. I cannot imagine not having her along-side for our many adventures in life. That felt threatened and she faced it all with strength and courage she didn’t even know she had.  Her advice to everyone would be to trust your care team. Let them all work together to make a treatment plan and give you the best chance possible for survival, and stay positive. Don’t read every medical article on the internet, they will scare you! Our hope is that you find some education and information along with a glimmer of hope in our story – especially my sister’s.

Lord, Give me the Strength

Kathy, Accounting

It was a sunny day;

It was a normal go-to-work day

When then the phone rang.

Wait a minute, would you repeat that?

I didn’t understand your answer.

I mean, I know you surely didn’t say the word Cancer.

 

Is this really happening?

So many questions, too much information

Decisions to make, which path do I take?

Lord, be with me.  I don’t want to make a mistake.

 

“And now it is time,” said the nurse, “are you ready?”

I guess so, but wait, I don’t want to do it!

Though I know that I must or I won’t have a future.

Lord, give me the strength to bear this torture. 

 

And strength did come!  And love did come.

When needed the most, the Lord was near.

Friends and family brought food, sent cards, and came by.

They brought laughter and joy, and wiped the tear from my eye.

 

Then came the drugs, really it was poison.

I think this will kill me, are you sure it is needed?

Sick, so sick.  How much longer? 

Weak, so weak.  I’m not going to make it.

Lord, give me strength to get up from this pit.

 

Finally over, Praise God, it is finished!

Hair starts to grow back, now that’s a relief.

To eat food again, oh, what a blessing!

Mom, would you make me some chicken and dressing?

 

Am I the same? No, I’m different.

I’ve learned to have courage and have boldness to speak.

BIG things are important -- not the small.

There is new beauty around me from the stars to the sand.

Looking back on that time, I now see the Lord’s hand.