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Grant Winner: Cierra Johnson

Cierra, 35, who has breast cancer, said: "My journey the last five years have been a roller coaster of ups and downs. Most recently the past few months have been marked by significant progress, a testament to my unwavering faith in my God Jehovah, the exceptional dedication of my medical team, and the relentless support of my family. However, this path has not been without its profound sacrifices, carrying both emotional and financial burdens that have stretched us to our limits. We've reached a point where our resources are completely depleted, compelling us to rely increasingly on credit, thereby deepening our debt, just to keep the treatment going. This grant represents more than financial assistance; it's a light of hope, enabling me to continue fighting for my life with the support of those I love and hold dear. It's a critical lifeline that will not only alleviate the immediate financial pressure but also reaffirm the collective effort and faith that have been central to my journey thus far."

Cierra, 35, who has breast cancer
Cierra, 35, who has breast cancer

Since my cancer has become more debilitating I’ve had to travel with my mom to Texas quite often for treatment. Due to me having limited mobility I get red carpet treatment where the airport staff assist me through TSA and to the gate.

On one of our usual trips to the airport we arrive and I’m receiving the red carpet treatment while mom is checking bags. I make it through TSA no problems but I notice it taking my mom longer than usual. At this point I’m a little worried but decide not to freak out because we have a little bit of time before boarding starts. At that moment, I notice my phone is ringing and it’s my mom. I answer and she proceeds to tell me that she couldn’t get through TSA.

She then says, "I had to go through three times. Each time I took what I thought the issue was -- you know computer, tablet and it still didn’t pass the screening. Finally the TSA staff informs me that they will have to check the bag. When the lady checks the bag she pulls me aside to be discreet about what she found. Low and behold it was your breast prosthesis."

We laughed and laughed about this.

I had completely forgotten that I didn’t wear my prosthesis that day because I was in so much pain. So finally after going through three times, a security check with TSA, my prosthesis, mom and I finally made our flight.

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