Evelyn has breast cancer, but that hasn’t kept her from cracking jokes with anyone who will listen. Making people laugh is one of the ways Evelyn takes care of others. It helps keep her feeling better, too.
From the very first time we spoke with her on the phone, it was evident she’s a fun-loving person. “Hi, is this Evelyn?” Without responding, she disconnects the call. After a successful callback, she apologizes while laughing hysterically. “I’m so sorry,” she says, “I was so excited to hear from you, I couldn’t stand it!”
Evelyn enjoyed a career as a math and science educator in public schools. She and her husband, a “Trekkie,” fostered many children through the years and adopted one, a son, in addition to having three biological daughters. Her husband passed away in 2006 and her now-grown children help get her to doctor visits.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Evelyn volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club — she misses being able to do that — and spent lots of time with her friends and family, including her beloved grandchildren. These days, she reads a lot more and is kept company by her two adorable pups, Toto and Koko. And she sees her neighbors in the halls of her apartment building as they’re all coming and going, catching up on what’s been going on these days, joking about this or that.
Evelyn’s breast cancer diagnosis in April 2020 came as quite a shock. She says the physical parts of dealing with this have been hard, but emotionally accepting it has been the most difficult. “It’s like, no, it can happen to other people but it can’t happen to me. My family didn’t have [breast cancer] and, on top of that, there were several other medical things happening at that time.” She laughs briefly before explaining, “Carpal tunnel, shoulder surgery, wisdom teeth, and breast surgery three times on one side.”
After starting treatment, a social worker suggested that she look into getting meals from Project Angel Heart. Thanks in part to funding from Cowgirls Against Cancer, a Colorado Springs group that funds medically tailored meals for people diagnosed with breast cancer, she was able to get meal deliveries started quickly.
She counts learning about Project Angel Heart as “a blessing,” saying access to these meals has allowed her to save money and ensures she’s eating well without having to prepare meals. This is especially needed after surgeries when she’s tired and can’t get around easily.
With a recovery that’s on track because of good nutrition, Evelyn doesn’t have to look far for things to laugh about. Now that she has breast prosthetics, the “knitted knockers” her doctor’s office gave her have found a new job at Evelyn’s apartment: dog toys. Truly, there’s never a dull moment at Evelyn’s.
Video credit: Bolt Video.