Founder, Leah Grieger
At age 33, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a young Mom of a two- and four-year-old it shattered my world. The fear of what was ahead, was at times unbearable. The prayer that I received from family, friends, and church was really what helped me get strong. After three surgeries in the summer of 2015, it was determined that I was cancer free. Praise God! A few months after recovery I spent time with our dear family friend Mary Beth O'Reilly. We talked about her foundation: Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. I was blown away with her accomplishments and compassion for helping women and families impacted by breast cancer. Shortly after that, she asked me if I would be interested in starting a foundation in my community, under the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. I knew it would be a lot of work and wanted advice from my care team. Each one of my physicians (Dr. Elisabeth Dupont, Dr. Scott Ferguson, and Dr. Galina Vugman) shared the same response, “Our community is starving for this!”. I heard stories such as women not showing up to radiation because they could not afford gas, and women denying care treatment because they had to choose between paying for treatment or keeping their electricity on or paying their rent. It was and still is a heartbreaking reality. I talked to the ladies in my Bible study, and they prayed over my decision. I sought out incredible women in my community, including survivors, that became equally as passionate about this cause and mission as me. I knew my purpose for getting breast cancer was God’s plan for me to start Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida.