There's never a good time for a breast cancer diagnosis. You can be doing everything right, and then life throws you a curveball.
For Lisa Sorensen, the owner of Bliss and Bliss Home, she got the news of a diagnosis after her yearly doctor's appointment. This was as she and her team were preparing to open their new location at West Town Mall earlier this year.
She and her husband opened Bliss on Market Square 16 years ago. Since then, business has been booming and more locations have popped up.
"It was already a really stressful time and then to have that diagnosis, you know, was really scary," Sorensen explained.
Lisa says hearing the words "you have breast cancer," is not only scary but overwhelming, to say the least.
"All of a sudden you're thrown into this and you're having to make these decisions about something you don't even know anything about," Sorensen recounted.
While searching for answers, Sorensen heard advice from friends to reach out to Nina Howell, the president and founder of Breast Connect.
Breast Connect is a group of breast cancer fighters and survivors who specialize in support and solutions to the many questions newly diagnosed women may have.
"It gives them hope that they're going to be okay too," Howell explained.
Lisa was able to find love through women who had been in her shoes. She said women reached out to her to talk, uplift her on her hardest days, go on lunch dates, and be a listening ear.
Howell said the great thing about Breast Connect is women being matched with others who know exactly what the other is going through. She knows because she's a survivor herself who didn't have a resource like this during her battle.
"So you know you do go to family and friends and then it's nice to be able to go to those women who have been through this and who understand," Sorenson gleamed.
Howell said Sorensen was welcomed right into the community.
"We sort of took her under our wing and introduced her to some other women," Howell explained. "She was scared, of course."
Sorensen was scared at first but is so grateful. She wanted to give back to Breast Connect in a big way.
She decided to donate $2,500 of the proceeds from the opening week of the West Town store, which was amazing to Howell.
"When she came to us and told us they were going to do that it was pretty amazing," Howell said. "We're just blessed and privileged that they chose us to donate to."
For Sorenson, who is still recovering, but does not have to go through chemo, it was the least she could do for the women who help her so much.
"I want to make sure other women know there's help out there too and women that they can talk to," Sorenson noted.
So, even through a stressful time, she found bliss in her diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or are a survivor looking to be a part of the Breast Connect Community, you can visit their website at www.breastconnect.org or request to join their Facebook page.