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Gina L. Mulligan
Folsom, CA
Breast Cancer, Stage 1, Estrogen Positive, 8 year survivor

 

1. What was the darkest moment in your cancer journey?
My darkest moment came during my first radiation treatment when I walked through the obscenely thick door of the chamber and realized they’d soon close me in. Alone. This was when my cancer became real. It seemed like such a visual representation of the journey ahead.

2. If you could go back and talk to your pre-cancer self, what would you say?
I’d tell myself to be patient and know that everything is going to be okay. I’d also tell myself that with time, all of the wounds will heal.

3. How has cancer changed you?
On the plus side, I’m more aware of my body and try not to get as stressed as before cancer. As a new challenge, I worry more about
small health changes and so I try really hard to keep everything in perspective.

4. What motivated you to pursue your 2nd Act?
My 2nd Act came together by meeting so many women who didn’t have support while going through treatment. I wanted to find a way to help. Starting my charity, Girls Love Mail, combined my love for letters and my desire to encourage other women. It was one of those ah-ha moments.

5. What has been your brightest moment in your 2nd Act?
Knowing that we’ve helped over 95,000 women is pretty amazing. The number is sometimes hard to comprehend. I often believe that my having cancer was just so I could start Girls Love Mail!

6. Where do you see yourself going from here?
I see Girls Love Mail expanding across the U.S. and into other countries. We’re not ready for global Girls Love Mail yet, but someday.

7.What’s your favorite quote and how does it fit into your 2nd Act?
We read so many wonderful quotes in the Girls Love Mail letters, but one that really strikes a chord is this one, by an anonymous author: “The same boiling water that softens potatoes, boils eggs.” Cancer has made me softer and harder – in all the right ways!

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