Andrea Nugent – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this powerhouse of soul. A Woman that was not only struck by breast cancer, she began her journey diagnosed with epilespy and instead of falling into a life of self pity, this gal Took Action, turned her life around and used this challenge as an opportunity to ‘pay-it-forward’. She is today the founder of an organization designed to help young women find their own inner power and take full control of their own lives, and is committed to promoting public awareness of this growing disease.

 
 
 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

..after hearing the words “you have cancer,” it was one of the first things that flashed across my mind”.

 
andrea bionic event jpegfinal profile
 

Andrea Nugent

 

 
 
Andrea Nugent’s path in battling Epilepsy and Breast Cancer has led her to running a nonprofit group and writing three books. Andrea is a single mom and breast cancer survivor. An alumna of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, Andrea holds a Master’s in Business Administration.

andrea nugent book.00_jpgThe Jamaican born author has recently published her first children’s book, Mommy is Still Mommy: Cancer cant change that!
 

Local author gives back

A few short years ago, Andrea Nugent’s life was changed forever. A doctor’s visit led to a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, sending her on the long road to recovery. Now a two-year survivor, the experience inspired a book and new mission in life: education. She openly speaks of her illness, recovery and the organization she started to help others going through the same thing.

The book, entitled “Mommy Is Still Here, Cancer Can’t Change That”, was written to help children dealing with a parent’s illness. Nugent, along with other South Florida writers, recently attended a showcase at Southwest Regional Library to discuss the book and her story of survival. She discussed how she hoped it would help children like her son better understand the changes their family will be dealing with and encourage families to talk openly. Nugent then took the time to talk to attendees about their own stories, answer questions and sign copies of the book. The message Nugent stressed most during her talk is the importance of early detection and younger age groups are now being diagnosed.

andrea bionic women jpegFor Nugent, education and support is crucial in battling this disease and other forms of Cancer. To that end, she founded B.I.O.N.I.C Girls, Inc.

The non-profit foundation focuses on providing emotional support to local patients along with other services. Services include In-home counseling, transportation to doctor’s appointments/treatments and more. The organization also gets involved in fundraisers and offers emotional support to survivors dealing with self-image issues after treatment. In addition to all that, Nugent maintains a blog and Facebook account to provide updates on some of the patients and what she learned from her own struggle.

andrea bionic event jpeg2Andrea is founder of B.i.o.n.i.c. Girls, Inc. (Beauty is Optional: Newer, Improved, Changed), a non-profit breast cancer organization that provides free services to breast cancer patients and survivors in the south Florida community. Their services include free transportation to treatment, household cleaning, drop-off and pick-up of prescriptions, support groups and in-home counseling. Their mission is to empower and transform the lives of breast cancer survivors who have undergone cancer treatment and mastectomy.

The focus of B.i.o.n.i.c. Girls, Inc. is on rebuilding self-image and self-esteem while creating opportunities for wellness by offering free services that will allow women to focus more on healing and less on life’s stresses.

Andrea is committed to promoting public awareness of this growing disease, especially in women between the ages of 20 – 40, as this population is increasingly being diagnosed.

For more information visit www.bionicgirls.org.
 

B.i.o.n.i.c. – Believe it or not I’m Changed!

I was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2002. I suffered from Grand Mal seizures and I suffered silently. Those close to me knew what was going on but I did not really speak about it and I think those were the most terrifying and fearful years of my life. Two of the worst seizures I suffered, was on on a plane to Vegas.

Brain5I had two back to back, and they called for paramedics to meet the plane when we landed. I remember just wanting to go home and curl up and skip all the excitement. I was truly afraid, I did not walk with the Faith I walk with today. I lived alone at the time and I remember thinking that if something happened to me it would be days before someone would find me. I was fearful, not because I was not a believer and not because I did not go to church but because I did not have the relationship I have today with God. My eyes had to be opened and when I look back now I realize that back then I was just attending church. During that time, doctors had me believing I would never work again, drive again, or have kids. *Epilespsy

‘I felt that the seizure medications caused me to have a poor quality of life’.

‘I remember thinking this cannot be it for me’. I am too young to live like this. I knew I had to do something to get my life back. Against all doctor’s orders I decided that after talking to God I was going to come off medication in 2004. I prayed about it and made lifestyle changes in my diet and exercised. God showed me that I was going to be fine and that I would work and that I would drive and that I would have children and I did.

In 2006, after going through a myommectomy and 5 1/2 hour reconstructive surgery for what the doctors and specialists called “the worst case of uterine fibroids they had seen in over 20 years,” I had a beautiful baby boy Zachary Ali Nelson, whom I drove to day care, and theme parks and all over the city despite being told neither would happen for me. My uterus and fallopian tubes had to be totally reconstructed but My Zachary was destined from God. Not only did I return to work but I graduated with my MBA from Nova Southeastern University while working full-time.

pink-ribbon-free-vector‘I had no idea that my biggest challenge would come in 2009’. I went to do a routine mammogram December 2, 2008. I felt pain in my right side, to the point where I could not sleep on that side at night. I remember everyone telling me you have nothing to worry about. If you feel pain it probably is not cancer. It is more likely to be a cyst. Well I did the exam then headed for a long needed vacation in Jamaica to see family. The pain subsided and a few weeks went by. I kept wondering where is my test result. My friends told me “No news is good news, trust me if something was wrong they would call you.” So I let it go figuring they were probably right.

In April 2009 I got an ear infection. I suffered from them all the time so I knew I just needed to call the doctor to get some anitbiotics. Thank God this was not one of those times I decided to self-treat my ear infection with drops of warm olive oil. For some reason this time it was really severe so I decided to call the doctor. I called and set an appointment to go in for ‘meds’.

Right before I hung up I said to the receptionist, “by the way I have not gotten my mammogram results yet. Can you check my file and tell me if you have them?” The receptionist put me on hold for about a minute and came back and said “Oh yeah the doctor needs to see you right away.” My heart sank to my toes. I thought to myself, “What did she just say?” This cannot be. One thing I can say, an ear infection saved my life.

Needless to say that after a whirlwind of tests, biopsies, scans etc. I was not diagnosed until July 2009. I will never forget that Friday afternoon I got the diagnosis of Stage III Breast Cancer. By this time it had spread to the lymph nodes, there were small spots on the lungs and spots of the ovaries. When I finally met my oncologist I asked her, “In your professional opinion, was there a lot of change in this tumor from December til now?” Her reply, “Yes, your cancer is very aggressive and it is very advanced, the next step it would have been in the blood, we are catching it just in time.”

​I must admit that in the first 5 minutes of the doctor saying the words “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have cancer.

My life flashed before my eyes and the first emotion I felt was guilt. I thought to myself. How could I do this to Zachary? I waited so long to have him and I felt like I was letting him down because how could I get cancer. What does that mean, does that mean I won’t be there for him, I won’t see him graduate, get married, have kids? What about the other child I want to have?

 

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Just then it was as if God was standing beside me and had placed one hand on my shoulder. I felt a sudden calmness. I was not afraid and from that moment I just knew I would be ok. I got over the guilt and shock in 5 minutes and I decided to put on my armour and get ready for the battle ahead.

It was in that very moment I reminded myself that this was not the first challenge I had to face and God has always seen me through. Nothing would be different about this time. I looked up at the doctor and asked what do we need to do?

The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. Exodus 15:2

Within one week I was in surgery for them to install my port for chemo. I did not have enough time to get a proper second opinion. My life had changed in the blink of an eye. I decided that I was going to wear a smile, be positive and get ready for the healing that lied ahead for me because I knew that by His stripes I was already healed. My family and friends and Zach were my rock and provided a stong support system for me.

As I prepared for the battle of my life, this time I noticed that unlike all the other times I had health challenges, this time I did not have fear. I tell everyone that this was a challenging journey but at no time was it a fearful one. God had been preparing me for this battle. I had to go through all the other challenges to be able to fight this one. And I had to go through this one to be able to be there for the many women I help today. God trusted me to complete this journey and fulfill His purpose for my life which is to do His work.
 

 
God had my back every step of the way and I was just carrying out a plan and following the path that He laid out for me. Which brings me to now. Healed and forever changed, I decided to put all my trust in God and God alone.

I will be the first to admit that though physically I am healed, mentally I am still healing as mastectomy and cancer treatment can do a lot to a woman’s emotional state. They say it ages you 10 years and it sure feels like 20. I have good and bad days like anyone else. I am a work in progress, But with God, I know I will persevere. He is using me right now and unlike other times in the past where I kept things quiet and to myself I am obligated to share my story and show people that God is real, as I am a living testimony.

andrea finds a cureI may not know every verse in the Bible and perhaps that is why He uses me, because I can deliver His message in layman’s terms. What ever the case, just know that without a test you cannot have a testimony. If God brings you to that test or challege, He will also bring you through it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for His help and don’t sit and suffer in silence. Just know that darkest times are when you will need to have the most faith. Never give up and never waiver in your faith. Open up your heart to God, because He loves you and put Him first in all you do. Above all else, remember that your frame of mind will frame your world so stay positive. Breast Cancer is not a death sentence. I am truly living life to the fullest and creating beautiful memories with my Zachary.
 

What does empowerment mean to you?

‘It means having the authority and confidence in myself, to be productive and self-sufficient, despite the circumstances that life throws at me’.

What empowers you?

‘God and following His will for my life. Also knowing that I have the right to choose my own course of action and that I am accountable for my own results’.

Why is it important to be empowered, and to empower other women?

‘I think is so important that I share my story so that other women can see that despite all the obstacles life may bring, we can all achieve our dreams. We all face challenges in life, they may not come in the form of epilepsy and cancer like mine did, however, they may come as divorce, other illnesses, unemployment, loss of a loved one, etc. We have to choose to stay uplifted and positive. I do believe it is a choice. I believe it is important to encourage all women to stand firm in their faith and never give up’. #EMPOWERMENT – CHRONICLES OF A SOCIAL ESQUIRE

With a new zest for life, Andrea is a motivational speaker who truly inspires and touches the lives of everyone she meets. She has become increasingly well known and respected for talking openly about her battle with both Epilepsy and Breast Cancer. Andrea Nugent is a single mom and lives in Miramar, FL with her son Zachary. An alumni of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, Andrea received her Master’s in Business Administration.

Her goal is to promote public awareness about both diseases.
 

Wishing you a life filled with hope, love, faith and good health!

 
 

social-mediaTwitter – @AndreaNugent

Andrea Nugent | LinkedIn

B.i.o.n.i.c. Girls, Inc. – Facebook

Please check out my new book, “Mommy is still Mommy: Cancer can’t change that”!.

Women’s Health Magazine – Breast Cancer Survivors

Contact her: abionicgirl@gmail.com

 
 
 
 

A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this awesome spirit into our global alumni with open arms, embracing the vision of bettering the lives of all women, and finding a cure for Breast Cancer.

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Brava Andrea!

 

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