Rays of Hope 2021

Each Moment We're Alive/Circle of Angels

Many heartwarming friendships are formed out of different cancer journeys. What makes the story of Cindy Sheridan Murphy and Joanne Leary Beaudry’s bond so wonderful is the kismet that drew them together, and how much they are able to accomplish and contribute as a team. Individually both breast cancer survivors were finding their way through their own challenges, but together they are a hope-filled force to be reckoned with!

“When I left the clinic on the last day of my breast cancer treatment, instead of feeling relieved, I felt disoriented and lost. I kept thinking, now what do I do?” Cindy shares.

She began reaching out to other women who were having similar experiences and over time her passionate desire to connect by sharing her story led to partnerships with others and creating workshops to facilitate support so others would not feel as fragile as she did.

Doing her best to maintain her positive attitude, Cindy kept repeating her motto, “A person is not defined by what happens to them, they are defined by how they respond to what happens to them.” She found herself utilizing her life coaching skills to help her process each part of her breast cancer journey.

Meanwhile, Joanne, a two-time breast cancer survivor, arrived at a support group gathering and was shocked to see that it was Cindy leading the workshop! They had originally met two years earlier during Cindy’s chemotherapy regimen. Their husbands were in high school together and they hadn’t seen each other for many years.

“My fondest and clearest memory of Cindy was always that she has the most radiant smile. The day we reconnected we found out that breast cancer was not the only thing we had in common. We are also both dental hygienists. We became fast friends!”

Joanne joined the breast cancer support group that Cindy was facilitating. She found the group liberating, and it helped to affirm that all the things she was feeling were completely normal. “I found my tribe,” she says proudly.

Soon after, Joanne began helping to facilitate the Rays of Hope sponsored breast cancer support group and survivorship programs.
Joanne went on to form a Rays of Hope team naming it, My Circle of Angels. “Because nobody walks their breast cancer journey alone,” she says.

The bond between the two women has grown so intertwined with the work they do together, that, My Circle of Angels it is now not only the name of their Rays of Hope - Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer team, but also the name of the monthly support group they facilitate. Cindy boasts proudly of her friend, “She’s now a Rays of Hope Big Wig!*” (Big Wigs are individuals who fundraise $1,000+ on-line.)

The friends know that their purpose in life is to help other women navigate the journey through breast cancer. “Sometimes you send things out into the universe and you never know how it will come back to you,” Cindy says, grinning at her friend. Joanne answers, “The universe sent us each other as guardian angels.”

“We are so grateful to Rays of Hope for providing so many opportunities to continue to spread this important work together,” Cindy and Joanne say, laughing as they finish each others’ sentences.

Thank you Cindy and Joanne for sharing your story of friendship and hope!

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