Washington invitationWhen I first received the invitation to the Washington residence of the vice president of the United States for a reception commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it was a joke. Seriously!

So I called and verified that it was real. It turns out there was an aide for Dr. Jill Biden who is engaged and loves the show. She saw our website and read about my fight against breast cancer.

Because she works for Vice President and Dr. Biden and knew about the reception, she spoke with Jill and said I needed to be on the list. What a small world, right? After the shock wore off that it was, in fact, the real deal, I wasted no time making arrangements to travel to Washington, D.C.

Vice president Washington residenceI didn’t really know what to expect. When we drove up to the vice president’s home, the house was lit up in pink. It was so gorgeous! We made our way to the door, and, while I knew there would be security, I was surprised at how many times we were checked. There were four security checkpoints, and at each one we had to show our identification and go through metal detectors. We saw the Secret Service in the bushes! It was unbelievable!

Once we entered the house, we were in a crowd of probably 300 people. There was a naval orchestra playing as we went around to the pool area. Along the way, we passed several excited interns, who told us they loved “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.” It was so sweet!

Next, the vice president’s press secretary came over and had us stand with other women who were breast cancer survivors. They were super inspiring and really energetic! It was therapeutic for me to meet them. We then talked with Jill Biden, who said she loved the shows. She even asked how I was doing!

After having a few hors d’oeuvres, the vice president addressed the crowd in the foyer of their beautiful home. He talked about how courageous breast cancer survivors are to speak about their personal fights against breast cancer because they have to re-live their experience over and over again. That’s so true for me! But I learned that it helps others to share your experience and really support other women.

Dr. Biden followed with her own speech, and she even called me out along with other women attending the reception! I wasn’t expecting that at all! I was really honored! Another honor was meeting Dr. Marisa Weiss, the oncologist who founded breastcancer.org. She was a really amazing person!

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

I am so glad I attended this reception. It was such a special event, and it really showed support for us breast cancer survivors. For me the most significant aspect of the reception was how many everyday women out there are bending over backward to support breast cancer awareness. Jill Biden has taken breast cancer awareness under her wing to make sure it gets attention.

And there are so many women who have been through far more than I have who deserve credit for shining the spotlight on breast cancer awareness. It inspired me to do even more for breast cancer awareness. It gave me a glimpse of how many people are out there doing work because of breast cancer. Now I feel like I can’t stop doing my part to bring attention to this disease. The TLC special on my fight is not the end of this for me. It’s only the beginning.