By Chrissy Cifuentes
My jewelry business, Peacock Prisms, has given me the amazing honor of meeting some extremely beautiful women. Every customer I meet quickly turns into an inspiration, and I am thankful that my creations bring so many strong ladies together to learn from each other.
One of my customers and dearest friends, Cyndi McGregor, came into my life when I first started my line, and I knew instantly that she would have a huge impact on my life. When I first saw Cyndi walk into the coffee shop where I sell my jewelry, she sported a spunky, short haircut with pink highlights. I welcomed her to the shop and quickly exclaimed that I loved her color. She smiled as I complimented her sassy, new do and said, “I am a breast cancer survivor, and my pink hair is a sign of victory! I am embracing that it is growing back.” From then on, I knew that this lady would mark my life for the better, and she continues to touch many with her story of purpose through her pain.
On October 22, 2014, Cyndi was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. After the initial shock of being told the horrible news, Cyndi decided to fight with all of the energy she could muster. Being a proud mother, she knew that the battle would be intense but that her family needed her for their future. “I knew that I had to remain positive and not dwell on it,” said Cyndi. “I saw my mom survive breast cancer, and I knew I could beat it too.”
In December of 2014, Cyndi had a double mastectomy. She underwent 28 units of radiation and leaned on her family and friends for support in those trialing times. According to Cyndi, her mom, cousin, sister and friends were some of the many reasons she is healthy today. “The hardest part was telling my family,” she said. “My son Thomas would care for me and bring me water and a blanket when I was going through some hard times. That memory always makes me smile.”
Not only did Cyndi have to fight fiercely against her sickness, but she also had to rise above intense plastic surgery complications which landed her back into the hospital numerous times. During those painful moments, she turned to creating positive social media posts that uplifted others who may have been experiencing similar moments of sadness. “I wanted to let others know that they shouldn’t give up. Take that negative thing and turn it into positive!” She used her platform on social media to encourage others to pray and seek God in times of despair.
Currently, Cyndi is over four years cancer-free. She still remains a strong example and firm foundation for her family, friends, and community. No matter the storms that come her way, she is quick to rise up and beat the odds. Her positive outlook on life makes her a shining example of strength not only during Breast Cancer awareness month, but also during confusing days throughout the year. With a spring in her step, a smile on her face, and that same shade of pink in her hair, Cyndi keeps on spreading the faith in order to inspire others. “I will always fight until the end,” said Cyndi. “Everyone needs to live life to the fullest.”