By Kay Mejia “Trust me and do not be afraid.” These words were on replay in my head for days. As calm and as gentle as the untamed sound of the wind: “Trust Me and do not be afraid” was, and still is, the backdrop of my days following the news that brought me to my knees. I am Kay, and I wear many hats, figuratively and literally—second in command to a sailor, Navy wife, keeper of house, maker of meals, fan club president of three beloved children, and community servant—to name a few. These are hats I had donned joyfully for over 10 years when life presented me with a new and heavy hat in the fall of 2016. My husband’s Navy orders had brought us to California after spending some time in Washington state. With my youngest child now school aged, I had more time on my hands. I dove straight into re-enrolling in college, attending church Bible studies, and serving the local homeless. I was elated. These were dreams that had been placed on hold when my primary focus was stay-at-home mom, serving from the home front. The 2016-2017 forecast for our family was surviving our first year without my husband, Luis. Having already served 10 years in the Navy, this deployment would be a first for our family. My husband was home for merely a week after his 3rd detachment when a serious storm hit in the form of a pathology report. Our son’s 5th birthday, my 31st birthday, our 7-year wedding anniversary, our first California Christmas and New Year celebration before a 6-month deployment send-off: these were our plans for the month he was home. A much-anticipated, benign pathology report was simply the gateway to my peace of mind so that I could enjoy those life events. Unfortunately, it didn’t serve me that way. Earlier, I had found lumps in my breast, but my medical staff reassured me they were harmless. Three ultrasounds in six months, plus my persistence for a biopsy produced this report: “Ma’am you have breast cancer. I am so sorry.” I was stunned. In addition to my doctor, radiation technician, Luis, and myself, fear and faith were present in the room, too. Overpowering the bombarding information from my doctor, my faith kept telling me to pray. Pray hard. Plead for prayer from my family and friends. I did just that, and that is when God led me to Compassion That Compels. I am an information collector. I curiously sought out cancer fighters and their stories, which directed me to Compassion That Compels on Instagram. There I found BEAUTIFUL women with unique testimonies of diagnoses grim and relatable. Still, they displayed a courageous, fighting spirit. I wanted that; I needed that hope. I reached out to Compassion That Compels through their website and requested a bag. I was amazed at the quick response. Kristianne connected with me, and within days I received my Compassion Bag. There I found faith-filled components that helped me endure the treatment that quickly came and is still ongoing. My bag was sponsored by Altar’D State, a retailer who is faithful to serving and doing good for others. I benefitted from their Mission Monday campaign where 10% of their online sales helps to move Compassion That Compels mission forward. Alongside my bag of hope, I gained a friendship with Kristianne. Though there are miles between us, she has been an avid prayer warrior in my corner. When I stood at crossroads where this disease often led me, she spoke life reminding me of the Truth and promises God has for me. She saw me through four months and eight rounds of chemotherapy that was effective and without complication. She rejoiced with me over answered prayers for a husband who is home instead of deployed and a sick child’s health restored. More recently, Kristianne prayed with me for a new friend, Patricia, who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer and rightfully dismayed. That request was quickly answered, and through Compassion That Compels’ prayer wall, Patricia has been lifted up in prayer by the Compassion community 20 times and counting! What a surprise to me that a bag was already being prepared for BEAUTIFUL Patricia, readily sponsored by Atar’D State. Plus, more bags were being sent for the ladies in my support group and community. It was a blessing for me to bear the light that Compassion That Compels wraps up in these bags. I was blessed to witness my fellow lady OVERCOMERS receive them with joy. I prayed for this. I prayed for hope and found that He is my hope, and in Him I find hope in my family and friends, in Compassion That Compels, in Altar’D State, and in brave women in the cancer battle—past and present—who are overcoming. Compassion That Compels exemplifies faith in action and agape love for each other. In a literal sense, my hats and headdresses have grown in numbers adorning my bare head that chemo brought about. Nevertheless, my resume is now refined by my diagnosis and I wear my new Cancer Overcomer hat with dignity as an extension of what God has planned for my life. Compassion That Compels has inspired me and multiplied my willingness and commitment to use cancer to stand out for good, compelled by compassion to serve and love unconditionally. One day at a time. Kay Mejia was born on the beautiful island of Guam, raised by waves, and runs on faith. She is a servant of Christ, the purpose-driven wife of a sailor, a doting mama of 3, and is currently slaying stage 2b Invasive Ductal Carcinoma at the age of 31. A BEAUTIFUL Overcomer living in the moment with a temporary California address, she is finding joy through her diagnosis. Passionate about serving others and raising breast cancer awareness and wellness, she gives God all the glory for peace and grace for today and hope for tomorrow.