My Community Now Newspaper Artical

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Breast cancer survivor giving back to support group

Marcia Eliason (left) and Melissa Maas of Bank of Memories & Flowers. Photo By Peter Bukowski

Sept. 27, 2011

Menomonee Falls - When Marcia Eliason went through the painful and arduous fight against breast cancer seven years ago, there was something important, albeit small, that helped her get through it: flowers.

Marcia said she was religious with her mammograms and yet advanced breast cancer was detected after she insisted something was wrong following multiple clean scans. By the time Eliason had made it through the ordeal, she set herself on a new path as a floral designer and eventually made her way to Bank of Memories & Flowers in Menomonee Falls.

Marcia and owner Melissa Maas developed a promotion at the flower shop to help raise awareness and money for After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a network of support for women facing breast cancer.

It was a service Marcia used while she was going through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatment and eventually breast reconstruction. She now mentors other women dealing with the same thing as part of the ABCD program.

"I actually used it myself and thought 'You know someday I'm going to give back myself,'‚ÄČ" she explained. "Having all of those surgeries and therapies really allowed me to help a lot of women."

Money from a special bouquet, $5 from every arrangement sold will go to the ABCD program to help women around the country.

"We just thought, 'How can we make more awareness? How can we (generate) more support through our business?' And I thought of an arrangement to give to people who are going through treatment right now," Maas said.

"So many people that we talk to, that we meet, are getting breast cancer. It's not just 'so and so and so and so' you knew had it. It's 'my aunt has it' or 'my mom has it' or 'my girlfriend has it.' It's getting to be something we really need to try and support and hopefully find a cure."

Maas said depending on the success of the promotion, which runs through October, this may become an annual event. October has become breast cancer awareness month, raising visibility for breast cancer in recent years.

"I'm excited for this to take off," Maas said.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Breast cancer awareness fundraiser for After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Five dollars donated to ABCD for special bouquets.

WHERE: Bank of Memories & Flowers, N88 W16723 Appleton Ave. Menomonee Falls and 346 Oakton ave. Pewaukee

WHEN: October

WEB: bankofflowers.net

PHONE: (262) 253-9111 and (262) 695-9911