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Hey Tony the Tiger!

Born and raised in Georgia, the "peach state," Jade Gibson was diagnosed with Stage III – Ovarian Cancer in 2005 at age 16. As a member of the AYA community, she said she is channeling her passion for advocacy to promote cancer awareness and improve survivorship support for the next generation of fighters and survivors of both ovarian and childhood cancer.

Fun fact about me?

I am quite the connoisseur of hair accessories – wigs to be specific. I spent every summer past age 9 working at a local wig boutique and hair salon. No matter how many interactions I had with new or returning patrons, each “sale” was its own experience, for them and for me.

I must say, I learned a lot about the resilience of a woman in that time. Each consultation and customization had the ability to take the woman who may have come in feeling low because of a bad breakup and turn her into a powerhouse with plans for a night on the town with her girls. It could turn a housewife into a vixen; and on an endless number of special occasions, it could empower a woman facing hair loss due to thinning, alopecia, or cancer to feel comfortable in her own skin again.

I would have no idea what that impact truly felt like until I walked that path for myself but before the journey could begin I had to get my port installed. Now the great thing about being a pediatric patient, is the special treatment!

Unbeknownst to me, you get premium concierge service, which means they introduce you to your Child Life Specialist who will be there with you every step of the way and he/she comes complete with a plethora of pocket sized gizmos, gadgets, and games that can be played while waiting on the anesthesia to kick in.

Upon arrival and after admittance, I met Claire. A super nice, kind, and comforting spirit who joined the gaggle of people wheeling me through every back door and alley way from the pediatric wing to the main hospital. After settling in and discussing the process with the adults in the room, I lay back and prepared for the procedure to begin.

Now, this is occurring on Monday, July 4. Flashback to Saturday, July 2 and I’ll quickly note that my work day consisted of two things.

The first being, the vocal stylings of the owner repeatedly singing a little diddy that went “These boots are made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”

The second, was the jingle for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal playing between commercial breaks in our fitting area.

For some reason, those two things specifically stuck in my mind, so much so that at some point (flash forward) in the process of getting my port, I began sharing this information with Claire; who had just finished playing her second round of 20 questions and was patiently waiting for me to drift off. Did I mention it was a complete re-enactment? Picture it, me singing:

"Hey Tony! I like the things you do.

Hey Tony! If I could I would be you.

You’re the one and only tiger, with the one and only taste. You know how to take a breakfast and make it... Grrreat!"

The kicker?

Every time they thought I was under. I would come back with an encore.

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