Couple values Libby’s Legacy’s mission to serve uninsured and underserved women.
Story: Theresa Campbell Photo: Nicole Hamel
Partners in life and in their work as brokers of Spouses with Houses Realty in Mount Dora, Jeanette and Linda Bokland recall their world was turned upside down when Jeanette was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
They were living in Australia at the time.
“The diagnosis was kind of life-changing. There were just a lot of unknowns as to how serious my condition was,” says Jeanette, recalling they chose to leave Sydney to move back to the United States for her cancer treatment and recovery. She finished her treatments in August 2014.
“The type of cancer I had was not detectable in a mammogram,” she says. “It was so vague, so subtle.”
Seven weeks later, she remembers the lump felt like a lemon and it was in her lymph nodes. Jeanette had to have chemotherapy, radiation, and a mastectomy.
“It could have been worse,” she says. “Because it was not detectable in a mammogram, a lot of women don’t find it until it has metastasized to other parts of their body and then it’s usually too late.”
“Know your body,” Linda adds. She believes it’s vital for people to be proactive about their health. She served as Jeanette’s caregiver throughout the cancer treatments.
“I had so much support, and all I could think of was the women who don’t have support,” says Jeanette, who met young single moms in their 30s facing breast cancer alone.
The real estate brokers became devoted to Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation, based in Orlando, because they were moved by the nonprofit’s efforts to serve uninsured and underserved women. Libby’s Legacy founder Robin Maynard and other supporters accompany women to their doctor appointments, take notes, and are with them throughout their chemotherapy and beyond.
“Eighty percent of recovery is attitude,” says Jeanette, adding it makes a big difference to have people supporting and educating you.
The Boklands have made it their mission to support Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation. Every $100 they raise goes to pay for a mammogram. To learn more about their fundraising efforts, visit spouseswithhousesfl.com or call 352.630.2580.