Choose Hope. Think Pink.


{Meet the Riveter: Ronda | RR062}


Breast cancer. Two words we hear far too often. With breast cancer now effecting 1 in 8 women, the chances of you knowing someone who has battled this aggressive illness - or who still is - is extremely high. In fact, if you own an R. Riveter handbag marked with the Riveter number RR062, you have been supporting one of these women... without even knowing it.

Fort Bragg Riveter, Ronda S., is not only a Military Spouse, but also a breast cancer survivor.  Like so many women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, Ronda was aware of its existence, but never imagined she would contract it.

"I don't believe women are educated enough on breast cancer. I always thought, 'No! This could never happen to me!' But once I was diagnosed, I learned that breast cancer is effecting more women than I ever realized."
Ronda had the opportunity to meet a young 8-year old girl while undergoing her radiology treatments.
"My doctor told me I was too young to have breast cancer, and I was 42-years old! But then I met this young girl and began to recognize that every generation, those effected by breast cancer are becoming younger and younger."
So, how can we learn from Ronda's experiences to protect ourselves? How can we protect our mothers, sisters and daughters from breast cancer? According to Ronda, (and the Breast Cancer Fund), Breast Cancer is, in part, a genetically fueled illness. This means, if you are related to someone who has battled breast cancer, you are more likely to be diagnosed than someone who is not.

Fortunately, knowing this is not the only way to protect yourself. Here are a few lifestyle tips to keep you aware, empowered & educated!
  1. Be aware. Understand your risk levels by researching your family's medical history. If you have a female relative - especially a mother, sister or aunt - who has battled breast cancer, you are at a greater risk. Women in this category should place a greater emphasis on living the healthiest lifestyle possible. Things like smoking, excessive weight gain and lack of exercise can increase your risk even more.
  2. Be your own advocate. Ronda was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer only after she pled with her doctor for testing. Three mammograms showed nothing, but she knew her own body, trusted her instincts and insisted on a biopsy. The biopsy came back positive for breast cancer and her radiology treatments began almost immediately. Early detection may have saved Ronda's life, so her most important piece of advice to women everywhere: "Listen to your body."
  3. Build a support system. Anytime you visit the doctor with concerns, take someone with you. Ronda had her husband by her side when she was diagnosed and she is so thankful for having that support. Ronda also joined various support groups. "Spending time with other women who understand what you're going through makes it easier."
  4. Stay positive. Easier said than done, right? Ronda accomplishes this by remembering that catching her cancer early allowed her to beat it, move forward in life, and have the opportunity to tell her story and help other women who need support. "I don't think there is enough awareness out there about breast cancer. There is definitely more awareness now than when I was diagnosed a year ago, but I wish more women would talk about it."

Ronda is about to celebrate her one-year, CANCER FREE, mark on October 9th and the whole R. Riveter family is so thankful for her! In support of Ronda's milestone, and all women who have battled breast cancer, R. Riveter is currently donating 10% of all Signature Grant and Signature Hobby sales to The Breast Cancer Fund. As a THANK YOU to our customers who purchase one of these bags during the month of October, they will receive a PINK support tag with their bag.

Learn more about The Breast Cancer Fund here.


Story by: Kellie Gunderman

Photography Courtesy of Laura Vien & Ronda S.