Today we have a very exciting guest with an inspirational message and non profit that could change someone’s holiday season.
Mary Jenkins is a 2x Breast Cancer survivor who, while in active treatment turned her pain into purpose when she founded The COC, an organization that provides emotional support and financial assistance to active treatment cancer patients nationally.
She has overcome some incredible life experiences, including being married, a mother of three sons, and a widow by the age of 25.
Her conviction, courage, determination, faith, and strength fuel her passion to encourage and inspire others. Many have witnessed lives impacted simply by the words she imparts.
Mary is the parent of four children, Edwin (Candice), Joseph, and Jerry, and the grandmother of one grandson, Jude
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Find out more about Mary and her cause here: linktr.ee/TheCOCCares
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Are you living your best life as a salesperson or entrepreneur? Or do you find you’re working all the time on this hamster wheel of life while stressed out and not financially free, which is the exact opposite of what you have signed up for? Especially now in this global pandemic? If this is you, you are not alone. I found myself there in 2008 when I lost everything, including my health and had to pivot working from home for the first time with no money. I rebuilt my life from scratch, juggling motherhood and marriage to get my life back and be recession and pandemic proof.
Now we live laptop lifestyles with our kids and our poised to travel the world together.
How did we do it?
Join me as I share my health and wealth and wisdom, secrets, tips, tools and expert interviews to equip you to be recession proof and live your best life. My name is Louis Kofi, and this is healthy and wealthy and wise.
Well, all right. And Happy Friday, everyone in Facebook land. If you’re watching this on the recording, YouTube and itunes as coach Lois Kofi Super excited and fired up to have you guys here as a part of my live broadcast of healthy and wealthy and wise. I’m your host sales trainer, podcaster, super excited to have Mary Jenkins with us today, and I will introduce her shortly. If you guys are looking to give this December between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the season, it’s going to be a different kind of message today.
I’ve had health experts, wealth experts, people of coaching and wisdom, and today is going to be a different kind of wisdom. And if you’re feeling like a given spirit, I have an amazing guest today who is an amazing, timely message for this season. Cancer can’t stop Christmas. So, Mary, I’m so excited to have you here today, and I want to also remind people if you’re tuning live. Gov that’s part of the benefit of being a part of this Facebook community. You can comment below and see where you’re tuning in from and network with like minded people.
And you can also ask questions later of our amazing guests. I met Mary. Actually, she was a referral from one of my past, so grateful for Frank introducing us and just a little bit about your story. And then I want to have you take it away. Mary, you’re a two time breast cancer survivor. You had active treatment and you turned your pain into your purpose, which I love that story. And you founded the COC, an organization that provides emotional support and financial assistance to active treatment cancer patients.
You’re also a mother of three sons, and you were by the age of 25, so you’ve had a lot of life experience. Mary, I’d love for you to share with our audience today a little bit more about your story.
Well, thank you. And I am so happy to be here and Hello, everyone. When I hear you read and share my story, I’m like, man, I really have been through a lot, but I am thankful to have been through a lot and still be here when it comes down to it. I’m thankful for that. Yes. I was actually a widow at the age of 19 duty. He was in the army, and we had been married for two months and 29 days. And he unfortunately, had a heart attack at the age of 23.
And so I have been a widow all these years. And that was traumatizing, to say the least, because we were newly married. And then I ended up moving to his city, which was Savannah, Georgia, and I moved there to start a whole new life and be near his family in case his family wanted to spend time with my son and go from there. And so that was an experience. I got to go to College. I went to Savannah State University, which is now Savannah State College.
It’s now Savannah State University. I went there and was enjoying life doing all the things that you think that you’re big and bad enough to do when I think about it. But then I moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1995 and not going to do. I ended up in a homeless shelter. I had a homeless shelter experience, and it was like, oh, my God. Then I had a house built, and then the house got foreclosed on because of taxes not being escrowed. So much has happened. But I had no idea there was still more to come.
And then it was going to lead me to my purpose. And so in 2006 is when I got diagnosed with cancer and I got diagnosed with stage three, most stage four invasive dental carcinoma. So it was triple negative. And people are like, how did you find it? And I said, my youngest son and I were wrestling because I’m a supermom, and we were wrestling. And he accidentally elbowed me in the chest. And when he did, it hurt. And I mean, it hurt to the point where I was like, I’m ready to cuss.
I’m about to cough. And I’ve been in Ministry for 30 years. And my son was like, oh, my God, mom’s about to cuz. I don’t sound right. I tried to, but a couple of days passed and I went to the emergency, and the Er doctor was like, I think I feel something, but I’m not sure. And you should get a mammogram. And I was like, a mammogram. I’m only 38 years old to me, it’s not time for me to get a mammogram. I’ve got two more years before because they say, get a mammogram at age 40.
And so I went in to have a mammogram done. And when they did it, the process just took longer than I thought it should. Which now you have that feeling, you’re like, I had that moment. And so the result was, hey, Ms. Jenkins, we do see something on your film, on your skin. And we’d like to do an ultrasound to measure it. And then we’d like to do a biopsy to see. And when they did the biopsy, it came back and they’re like, It’s definitely cancer.
We just don’t know what grade. And so I was like, wow. Okay. So then I had to kick in, my face, kicked in, and I was like, okay, the sickness is not under death by his stripes. I’m healed. Okay. But the reality is I didn’t know. And it was trying for me because I’m a single parent and was like, I’ve got my sons. And now here I am battling hydrate cancer and who I get emotional. My doctors told me that I’d be lucky if I survived five years.
That was the thing. Okay? I’m working. So I’m working single parenting. I’ve been told I’m battling cancer, and I’m lucky if I survive five years. And, oh, my God. What am I going to do? And so I started chemo. And when I started chemotherapy, I was taking adriemycin and cytoxin. So if any of your listeners have ever before, you know, breast cancer specifically, they know that’s one of the high grade ones or two of the high grade ones. So I was doing chemo, and I was getting sick all the time.
Every time I turn around, I was throwing up a week, didn’t want to get out of bed. I still had to go to work because I had bills to pay. There wasn’t anybody that was paying the bills for me. And so one day I got to work, and I really wasn’t feeling well. I went into the bathroom, threw up all over the place, and I got so weak that I couldn’t walk. So I laid down on the floor and my employer came in and found me curled up on the floor.
They were like, you know what, Mary? We think we need to help you out. So we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to let you go so you can focus on your recovery. And I was like, thank you. I’m not going to have to get up and come to work early in the morning. I’ll be able to rest. I’ll be able to try to gain strength. And thank you. However, it did not dot on me until it was time to pay the bills, because when they let me go, basically, I got fired.
And in being fired, I have to pay. And it was like, oh, my God. And so I had went through my little savings. I did that. And it was like, I still have to pay bills. And so I wrote up to the Susan G. Coleman foundation. And they depressed. People race for the curb for the cure, pink ribbons everywhere. And so I figured I’ll contact them and get help. I got breast cancer. They depress people breast plus breast equal help for breast. So I thought, Well, when I learned that they don’t use their money to help people, well, they use their money to fund research and make certain people can get mammograms and give out awareness information, which are all great things.
But what I needed was help with the rent and the electric and the gas and the water and the car note and the car and the cable bill and buying food. Those things that weren’t stopping just because I had been diagnosed and they didn’t offer support there. They recommended I contacted society. So I reached out to them and found out that they don’t do it either. And I was like, I’d be kidding me. People think that these are the places that people battling cancer can turn to to get the help that they need.
There’s some help. But this gap wasn’t being addressed. And so I went and tried to apply for public assistance and got turned down because I hadn’t been unemployed long enough. And so for me, I was like, me and got to talk. And we have to talk. I’m going to go to the Church, and I won’t talk in sanctuary. So I contact attended and asked if I could spend some time in the sanctuary. And they said, yes. So I was having a heated conversation because I was like, God, I’m trusting you.
And I don’t understand how now I’m about to lose everything because I can’t find anybody to help me pay the bills. It doesn’t make any sense. And apparently rich leadership overheard me, and they offered to provide support. And so they actually offered to pay my bills for the rest of the time that I was in treatment.
Which that was. I mean, you talk about a blessing. I was like, okay, great. And then I thought about it. I was like, That’s great for me. But what about all the other people that are battling cancer that need help? What about them other breast cancer patients that don’t have anyone? Somebody’s got to do something to make people aware of where the money is going and isn’t going faster was like, Well, Mary, why not? You’re right. Someone needs to. And I was like, Right, someone not me.
And then it dawned on me that he was saying me. It was like, oh, my God. Okay. You want me to be the one unexpected. And so I started telling my story everywhere. And people are like, I had no idea. I don’t want to give to those organizations. Can I give it to you? And I was like, sure you can give it to me. I’ll find somebody, give it to my Church, paying bills. I’ll just find someone. And that’s what I started doing 15 years ago.
And so for the last 15 years, I have been literally raising money to give to people that are battling cancer just so that they have the comfort of knowing that they’re not going to be evicted or the lights aren’t going to get cut off or the car is not going to get repossessed. And so we’ve been doing that. And when I started the organization, it was just breast cancer, because that’s what I knew. Well, when we were four months old, I got a referral of a woman that had cervical cancer, and I told her we couldn’t help her because she had the wrong type of cancer.
But I did because at the time, we were only breast cancer. And it was like, What’s the right type of cancer? And she was like, no, I’m the one that can fix this. And so I reached out to my board, explained that I never wanted to tell someone that the wrong type of cancer ever get in life. And they’re like, Are you sure? And I said, yes. So we changed our mission to include all cancers. And then the people started from all over Ohio, and then they started coming from across the country.
And then they started coming internationally. And I was like, oh, my God. So by the time we were a year old, we had gotten our first application for assistance from Canada. Oh, my God. We’re international. And so it’s been a tremendous journey. We’re not grant funded. We actually are funded based off of donations of people that hear and understand who we are, what it is that we’re doing because we’re not out there. I’m not driving a MercedesBenz, living in the big house, making half a million dollars a year, a quarter million dollars a year.
I’m not. What I am doing is spending all of the time that I’m able to be a voice and an advocate for someone that’s in the toughest battle of their life just so that they don’t have to worry so much if I can just ease their stress a little bit. I’ve done my job. And so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years. And you mentioned that Frank brought us together. Frank has watched the organizations. He said, I’ve got to put you in touch with every person that I can because we’ve got to get the message out.
And I’ve said, there’s somebody out there listening somewhere that wants to give a $50,000 donation, $100,000 donation, a million dollar donation because people are doing that for cancer research, to help the man that’s battling cancer or the woman that’s battling cancer, or even to help the parents that have a baby that’s battling cancer because kids get diagnosed with cancer as well.
It impacts people. I was just going to say, I didn’t want to interrupt you. It was so good. I’m so grateful that you shared all of that, because I did a lot of fundraising for cancer for a decade. And I was so upset and disappointed in finding out a lot of the statistics and things that you shared. So I’m so grateful that you’re able to share your being here, turning your pain into your purpose, I truly believe, is one of the things that kept you running, right?
Kept your heart chicken kept you alive. Because if you were supposed to be gone, by what, 2011, it sounds like, according to the doctors, yes, five years.
And so what we did, actually, at five years, we had an I made it party. And so my I made it party was either I made it or I made it, and I transitioned, and I went on, and I’m in with the Lord if in heaven. And so we were like, and I made it party. And that was just like, all things have to make it to the I made it party, whatever that’s going to look like. And of course, I went through. And then I got diagnosed with cancer a second time in 2015 and then tell it all in between the first battle and the second battle, I had reconstruction surgery that failed.
And it put me in a nursing home for six months where I was from my life. When I say, me and cancer have gone toe to toe, and I’m like, I am still here, and I am still going to share the message because there’s people out there that need the help. And I will be that voice until I don’t have a voice, I will be the one to share the information and ask people. People are like, she has no problem asking for donations. No, I don’t.
I have no problem whatsoever. And people are like, Well, how are you so comfortable? And I’m like, because it’s not about me. It’s about that person that face an eviction, the person that flights are getting ready to get cut off, the person car is going to get repossessed or whatever. It’s about them in their battle with cancer. And so my job is what we call the care center is the word care, which is an acronym for creating amazing recovery experiences. And that’s what we want to be through the C.
Oc. We want to be that the ones that help people in the toughest battle of their life.
That’s amazing. So amazing. Your story and of itself is just so timely also, because there’s so many people, whether it’s been coveted, impacting their finances, whether it be job loss because of COVID, maybe not their health but their career. I know I’ve lost a couple of friends to cancer this year. There’s not anyone I don’t know that hasn’t been touched by loss, grief, financial situations. And so it’s really important for you guys to hear this inspirational story, because how do you keep moving forward when your health, your wealth and wisdom or sanity is feeling compromised, right?
Is just listen to this woman’s story over and over again. I wouldn’t acknowledge. We have some people watching Mary Elizabeth. She’s send her sympathy from earlier on, and she’s tuning in from the Southern California desert. And she just shared with us that she currently has a family member who is fighting cancer. And Unfortunately, I don’t know who this is because it doesn’t give me your name. It’s why they like to donate locally instead of big organizations, because then you know where they are going. So knowing that the holidays are coming up, we’re in the holidays.
It’s happening. No matter what you celebrate. There’s a lot of even people already in off mode and people that are struggling. And I know you have this amazing program and the opportunity to donate for cancer can’t stop Christmas. So can you tell us more about that? And I’m also going to put the notation link on the screen as well.
So I get emotional when I talk about it. So I am this baby myself. So I was born on December 25 and growing up, I never really celebrated my birthday just because it was a holiday. But when I got diagnosed with cancer and going through all that and then finding out that kids get cancer and then thinking about how their families struggled financially. And I saw a lot of places that were doing Christmas parties, and they would invite the community to give an unwrapped new present to feel good.
And I saw the kids going to the kids were thankful that they were getting something, but they weren’t exactly crazy happy that they were getting what they wished for because their families were struggling. Chances are they weren’t getting the we system or the ipod or just whatever. And so I was like, man, cancer can’t stop Christmas. It just can’t. And so the heartbeat behind cancer can’t stop Christmas is to make the wishes come true. And so the very first year that we did it, it was so amazing because it was a family gosh.
We had, like, 100 kids, and there were kids that didn’t think they were going to get what they wish for. So we send an application out to families that have a child that’s 17 and under and say, what do your kids wish they could get for Christmas? If cancer wasn’t an issue, we make sure that it’s age appropriate and stuff like that. So we create a spreadsheet that has the names of the kids on one side and then their wishes going across. And we raise money for the purpose of getting the kids these wishes.
And we’re like, okay, and there’s nothing that, I mean, they can wish for anything as long as it’s age appropriate, because we did it. One year, we had a three year old that asked for 52 inch plasma, flat screen TV and a Nintendo system. All right. So of course, we called to verify, and the mom was like, yeah, that’s what he wants. I was like, okay, can I talk to him? And he got on the phone. He’s like, Hi. And I’m like, do you know what plasma is?
Mommy said that’s what I need to ask for. Okay. So we ended up getting an age appropriate TV with small Leapfrog learning systems so you can have the Nintendo field kind of sort of. But it was educational. So we did that. And so we’ve been doing this now. This is like our 14th year of raising money just to be able to provide wishes for the kids, because I’m crazy enough to believe that when the kids go to the other party, they’re thankful. Yes. And then on Christmas morning, there’s a strong chance that they’re not going to get what they wished for because the family is struggling financially as a result of dealing with cancer.
And not all families are. But there are more that are that aren’t. And so I’m crazy enough to believe that when they wake up on Christmas morning and they don’t get the presents and they feel some kind of way. And so then here comes my group says, cancer can’t stop Christmas. And then we get to provide them with the wages. And I always tell the story. I know if they’re listening, they may be fish family. And I always tell them cancer can’t stop Christmas and that there will always be frozen dipping dots.
And I say that because their son, Sam, battled cancer. He had osteostarcoma, and they ended up amputating one of his legs. And all he wanted for Christmas was a frozen dippados machine. They were sold out in Columbus, Ohio. They were sold out in Ohio. Every place we checked, they didn’t have it on Amazon, every place was sold out. And that’s all he said he wanted. I was like, on it. He got to get it. And so on Christmas Eve, I went on Amazon, and they had one, and we got it.
And then we provided it to him. And the smile that he had on his face was priceless. And Unfortunately, Sam has passed away. There will always be dipping dots. And his parents now celebrate his life and his legacy because they created a foundation called the Sandbich Foundation that provides awareness, emotional support and financial assistance to the families of children that have battled pediatric cancers. And so that’s a blessing in itself. And I’m like, so when it comes down to Christmas, being able to get the kids what it is that they really, really wish for, it means a lot.
It just does.
I love it. I love that you’re serving all ages, all walks of life, all forms of cancer. So, guys, just as a reminder, if you’re just tuning in because I know we’ve had a couple of new people join us. Please hit the share button and you’ll also notice I do have the banner going across if you’re comment below with your questions, even if you come in later. Mary is a part of this community. So if you’re inside Facebook and you want to find Mary, she’s inside the healthy, wealthy, and Wise platform so you can comment below.
Obviously, I dropped the link in both the show notes and down below in the comments. So you guys can donate and know that the money is really going to an amazing cause. I’ve had times where we didn’t have cancer. We just didn’t have money to do anything for our kids for Christmas. So I know that sometimes I really am more about giving and teaching my kids to do that, too. So if you’re out there listening, maybe instead of giving presents, maybe you can give someone else presents through Mary to these people who are really struggling during those holiday season.
I love it. I love it. What else can you share with us today? We’ve got a few more minutes here anything that you’ve learned about resilience or about the cancer community or anything that you can part wisdom to our community today that you haven’t already covered today.
And this is something that I love to share with others, and it’s resiliency. It’s important to share your story. And the reason is because there’s somebody out there that is waiting to hear it. You may not even know the person, but just in sharing your story and being vulnerable with what happened to you, because when I talk about cancer and I express that I don’t have any breasts, people are like, oh, my goodness, you sound so confident even though you don’t have any. And I said because I had to learn whether or not I have one breast, two breasts, no breasts.
Don’t make me who I am and sharing the story. And so for all of the listeners, I encourage you to share your story, whatever it is, whatever it is, because there’s somebody out there that is waiting to hear it, and the words that you speak literally will impact their life.
I love that. I am so grateful for you to bring that up because I think you heard the phrase make your mess, your message, you turned your pain and lots of it, I might add. So I’m just like, you are a Saint. You are an amazing inspiration. I know you have a book also, so I want to get to that in a second. But guys, watch this again. They don’t even have to have cancer. A lot of people are struggling for sales, especially around this time of year.
And I think it all comes down to. The greatest story ever told is your story, your story, to be able to be open and transparent so that whoever is supposed to hear it will be inspired and you just might save or change your life as a result of not keeping it all to yourself. Right.
Correct. And you mentioned the book I authored the book. It’s called Destined.
Do you have a copy there?
Destined to. Yeah. Destined to overcome. So I wrote this book while I was battling the spirit of the book was while I was battling cancer while I was going through. I just really heavily relied on my faith and on scripture. And so then a few years ago, a friend of mine was battling cancer, and he was unsure of the level in which he was going to be able to make it because it was metastatic. And so I told him I would search scripture and I would give him something and I’d give a message with every scripture and that it would be for him because he’s destined to overcome.
And so I created this book and it’s a daily declaration to win at life. So each day there’s a different scripture, it’s a different conversation. And then a call to action. So it’s not meant to be a religious book, but it’s a tool just to help people on this journey. And so just to give you an example, like today is the 10th. And so on day ten, the topic is believe. And so the scripture is Jesus said unto him, if thou can believe, all things are possible to him that believe.
And so when we’re going through life to get to where we overcome is when we believe. And so there’s a whole conversation about it. And then the call to action is, what are you believing to write out? What are you believing every day? It’s a different one. And so this book is available on Amazon. It’s $15, actually one of the things that I do share if someone wants to sign a copy and I’ll get them a signed copy. So that way they can have that as well.
But you order it from me directly and I give you all that information, if that’s what it is that you want.
Okay, cool. And I’ll make sure to drop that information in the show notes. Mary. So if you can maybe let me know how you best want them to contact you. Since we’re almost out of time here. I’ll put that in the show note. So it’s going to always be there for posterity. But I love that you have a call to action because a lot of people have what I call inspiration constipation, right? They like to read these motivational quotes, but then the action isn’t there. So to have that built in helps you overcome, I think much bigger, much faster.
So thank you. I’ve got one more question for you, but don’t go anywhere yet. I just wanted to make a couple really quick announcements next week. We have Sarah Elkins. She’s going to be on here, and we’re going to actually be talking about something more about your strengths. We’re going to be talking about strengths and how to really find and connect with others as well as yourself, especially through the holiday season. I think it’s a great time to be talking about relationships and how that can be impacted also through your business as well as personal.
So that’s next Friday, next Thursday, I have an online networking event. If anybody would like to meet and expand your network globally. It’s next Thursday at 03:00 p.m.. Pacific. I’m also going to be doing a 15 minutes Ted talk about the twelve week year how to get more done in twelve weeks than most do in twelve months. A nice kind of tee up for 2022 because we got less than really like what three weeks left in this year, guys, less than three weeks left in this year.
And I know a lot of people are planning what they want to create. What do they want to get out and create in 2022? So if you’re interested, I’m going to put that link in the comment section below as well as in the show notes. So I’m Super excited to have you guys check that out as well. So if you guys saw value today as we wind it down, please again, hit the share button with people that you care about. And then as most people know who’ve tuned in every week, I always close asking my guest the same question.
And I’m Super excited to hear your answer. Mary, because you’ve lived a lot of life. You’ve experienced so much wisdom. And so when you hear the phrase healthy and wealthy and wise, Mary, what does it mean for you?
It means everything, because how can we really make an impact in this life if we are not healthy? And then if we are not wealthy and that doesn’t necessarily mean money, but it can be our passion, our family relationships and then wise having learned lessons because I am a firm believer that every experience we have there is a lesson and there is a blessing in it. And so healthy wealthy means everything to me.
I love that. And sharing that wisdom, right? You said share you could impact someone today. So I’m just going to share your link one more time. Guys, if you want to donate and this is a great season of giving. And if you’re thinking, gosh, who can I give money to or make an impact with? Go to thecocares. Orgdonate. And if you want to be a part of this amazing, healthy, wealthy and wise community with Mary, myself and a lot of other amazing guests week after week, please join us.
Go to Facebook and look for healthy and wealthy and wise, or go to healthywealthyandwise. Com until next time. Guys, here’s your best health, your best wealth and your best wisdom. Thank you so much for tuning in and thank you, Mary, for making an impact today. Hi, guys.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed this, please subscribe refer a friend and please drop me a rating or a review. If you do that, I’ll reward you with a free 20 minutes free coaching session on Crafting your journey to your best self. Reach out to me at Lois at loiscopy. Com to claim your 20 minutes slot until next time. Be healthy wealthy and wise.