Photo by Pouya Dianat/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images
Diamond of Hope Award winner Jamie Robinson is shown with her family and Atlanta Braves pitcher, Tim Hudson. Breast cancer survivors and their families participated in a ceremony before the game against the New York Mets at Turner Field on Sept. 18.
Jamie Robinson is the recipient of the Diamond of Hope Award, given to her during the 2011 Atlanta Braves Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Sept. 18. The award recognizes caregivers who have made an impact on the lives of breast cancer survivors.
The McDonough mother of two serves as an outreach mentor to newly diagnosed patients, and steers them to support programs that are offered in the community.
Robinson said she was appreciative of the recognition, acknowledging her own survival of three bouts with breast cancer. She said she was nominated by Susan Timbert, a registered nurse with Southern Crescent Breast Specialists. This summer, the practice named Robinson “Ms. Face of Hope.”
Robinson, 39, said she was diagnosed three times with breast cancer, and was first diagnosed on March 10, 2006.
She said she discovered a lump during a breast self-exam on a Tuesday evening, after having dinner with her family and winding down for the night.
“I never really did it routinely, up until that point,” said Robinson. “I had a sick sort of feeling, almost like a pit in my stomach. I just fell to my knees in prayer. I felt like I was in a fog. ‘I’m only 34 years old, this cannot be happening to me. I’m married, and I have two small children.’ I felt like I had been blind-sided by the news.”
Robinson said her husband of 12 years, K.C. Robinson, was the first person she told. The couple later told their two children, Cole, 6, and Reed, 3, once they learned the official diagnosis. Her sons are now 11 and 8.
“We sat them down on the couch,” she recalled. “We told them that mommy has cancer, but God was going to take care of mommy, and our family. My children have done very well with all three diagnoses of my cancer. We pray together as a family, and we look to God for our health and our healing.”
For the first bout with breast cancer, Jamie Robinson had a single mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy.
“My thought process was that I was OK with the mastectomy,” she said. “Whatever they wanted to remove from my body, I was OK with it.”
She survived the cancer, but was diagnosed again on June 16, 2009.
“I was scared of a recurrence,” she said. “I had a mindset of, ‘If or when the cancer reoccurs, it’s going to be worse than the first diagnosis.’ I was very pleased when I learned that it was a local recurrence.”
With her third diagnosis coming later that year, on Sept. 22, 2009, Robinson held up against several rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and 33 radiation treatments to rid her body of cancer.
“It definitely makes you more thankful to God for his blessings,” she said. “You see life in a different way. You appreciate each moment, and you’re more appreciative of the small things, like seeing a rainbow, or the kiss of your child.”
The mother continues to get routine follow-ups and physical checkups concerning her breast cancer. She said she hopes her ordeal with cancer will inspire others to be proactive and not feel alone.
“I would advise them to stay strong,” she said. “They should believe in themselves, and believe in their doctor. Be their own advocate for their health. Believe in the power of prayer. Lean on others for support. Allow your family and friends to surround you with support, and care for you.
“God is my ultimate healer,” she added. “God can show us that with every trial, he’s there, and he can carry us through.”