For Evelyn Calip, a registered nurse, breast cancer has turned into the best thing that could have ever happened to her because she has been able to meet and help other people.
Calip was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2007, but she was lucky to find out early, get treatment and beat the disease.
Calip says, "I actually feel lucky to get diagnosed with breast cancer because I'm able to meet other women and now become breast friends forever!"
Impressed with the help she received at Torrance Memorial Hospital during her breast cancer journey, Calip decided she wanted to work in the South Bay hospital to help others.
She became a certified cancer navigator and helps over 175 to 200 patients per year.
"As a navigator, not only do we educate our patients and advocate for our patients, I'm also a friend to them as they go through the cancer journey," Calip says.
But Calip knew she could do more than just navigate people; She knew she needed a "BFF," and she knew other women needed one too.
So, Calip started her Breast Friend Forever Foundation, an informal no-profit support group that has fun and raises money with private bra parties, bra runs to help other underinsured or uninsured women.
What started with only eight members has grown up to more than a 100 people. And to those she helps, Calip is an amazing friend.
"Evelyn is the most giving, selfless, ray of sunshine I've ever met," one of Evelyn’s BFF members said. "The day I met her, I felt safe."
Evelyn always makes sure to remind her members that there is always hope and that everything is going to be OK.
Calip says, "Cancer cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soul, it cannot steal eternal life and it cannot conquer the spirit."