Jo-Ann Pohl

Over-achiever Jo-Ann had a big job at Barclays bank when she discovered a lump in her right breast. She was 28 at the time. A sonar, a mammogram and a core biopsy confirmed she had stage two breast cancer. Her treatment included chemotherapy, radiation and an operation to remove the cancerous tissue. This regime put a halt to her plans to start a family and in addition to battling her illness, Jo’s mission critical became “to create and bank as many good memories as possible”. Her long hair fell out but this was not the only thing to change. She had always been self-sufficient and fiercely independent which made accepting help difficult. It was only when Jo-Ann received the devastating news that she would not be able to have children that she felt the intensity and the enormity of her disease’s authority and its power to rob one of a “right of passage”. “We considered surrogating, but in the end opted to foster instead. Two beautiful twin boys crept into our hearts and we adopted them in 2012. Our boys taught us a lot about what it means to be happy; how much time is worth and that love counts. As a consequence we were blessed with two biological children too – a daughter and son.”

Today Jo-Anne is in remission living a successful and busy life.  The gifts that have revealed themselves as a result of Jo-Ann’s brush with cancer are manifold. “If I didn’t get cancer I would have lost out.  Today I have an exponential appreciation of life and the small moments which become priceless memories which would otherwise be missing.”

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