Tawanda has been with Alorica for eight years – she started out as a Customer Service Representative and now is a Regional Quality Manager. Last July her life took a sudden turn when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and decided to write about it on Facebook. She posted a letter addressed to her son, Tray, and it has now gone viral.
“It was a blessing to see the amount of people that not only were inspired by the story but that also reached out to me from different parts of the world. I travel so much for the company that I have people from Colorado, Texas and the Dominican Republic on my Facebook page. There were so many people messaging me because they were recently diagnosed or wondering how they were going to tell their family or their children and I was able to give them some sort of hope.”
When asked about having to navigate the treatment with work, “I didn’t tell many people at Alorica, only Shay Stepp (HR) , Thad Rooney (VP), and Jason Zell (Site Director) because I knew I would have a lot of medical appointments to come and didn’t want them in the dark. I couldn’t ask for a better work family. They would always make sure I was okay. I was still able to work four days a week and only took treatment days off.”
And how is her health today? “I’m doing well. I’m totally done with the chemo, I received my survivor bead and I start radiation next week, so I’m done with the harsh part —and I am cancer-free! I came back to work that following Monday to all kinds of gifts, hugs, tears, and a bunch of ‘I Love You’s.’ Without Alorica behind me going through this, there is no way that I could have maintained my regular life outside of work. Alorica has indeed made my life better!”
She kept it a secret to her son throughout her treatment until the very last day, which was also her son’s birthday. “He was in the dark as well. I figured the best birthday gift that I could give him was me being a breast cancer survivor.”
She ends her letter to her son, “[Tray], I hope you understand deep down why I chose to keep this from you. I could never live with myself if you chose to stay home rather than going off to college. You worked so hard to make that happen. I don’t care how many times I would have told you ‘I’m okay, I’m okay,’ you never would have believed me. I had to show you. So that’s what I’m doing now. I love you with my life and as long as you’re breathing I’ll continue to fight!”
We’re so proud of Tawanda and her fight against cancer. Click here to view her full story on Facebook.