Today and every day, we are proud of the many Breast Cancer survivors who make Houlihan Lawrence their home. It is these survivors who have inspired our Stronger Together Breast Cancer Awareness initiative.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Nancy Beard, one of our very own Survivors, and hear about her story. Read on for Nancy’s uplifting Stronger Together journey.
Even though Breast Cancer has played a big role in Nancy Beard’s life, she doesn’t want it to define her. And when you talk to Nancy, you immediately understand why. Nancy is so much bigger than Cancer. She has much more interesting things to share.
After 19 years as a survivor, Nancy is ready to share her story. But of course, in a very Nancy way. Nancy didn’t want to just say she is a Cancer Survivor. She wanted to use her story to empower others.
A few years ago, Dr. Rand Stack, Nancy’s radiologist who initially diagnosed her with Breast Cancer, approached Nancy about a book he was publishing called The Breast Health Checklist. Dr. Stack asked to include her story in the book, and Nancy agreed. Up to that point, Nancy had been hesitant to call herself a Survivor. It felt like tempting fate. But in that moment, Nancy was ready to introduce herself to the world as a Breast Cancer Survivor.
To understand Nancy’s journey, we have to go back 19 years.
In 2000, Nancy wasn’t a Breast Cancer Survivor. And she wasn’t Mrs. Beard. She was Nancy Florent. A carefree bride-to-be living in Manhattan and planning her wedding to her Prince Charming.
Two months before the wedding, Nancy went for a routine OB appointment on her lunch hour. During the appointment, the doctor found a lump. Nancy made a follow-up appointment with her family doctor in Rye, NY for the next day. With her mother and fiancé by her side, Nancy learned she had Stage 2 Breast Cancer.
Not one to take things lying down, Nancy immediately sprung to action. In short order, Nancy pushed the wedding back one year, giving herself a 12-month timeline for treatment and recovery before saying “I Do.”
It was not an easy journey, but on May 20, 2001, Nancy walked down the aisle cancer-free.
And looking like herself. Though Nancy had gained weight from her treatment, she refused to make a single alteration to her dress. Nancy did Rebook classes and walked the weight off. It was a personal triumph to get the dress on and have it fit perfectly, the way it did before her diagnosis.
Nancy will forever think back on her wedding day as being one of the best days of her life. For all the obvious reasons, of course. Because she married her husband, who was by her side from day one. Because together they got to watch all the people who have always loved them separately, love them together. Because it was a celebration of life, love and marriage. And because it was a celebration of Nancy’s battle being over.
Today, Nancy is happily married to her husband, her rock, with whom she shares twin sons.
Looking back on her treatment, Nancy remembers how bad she felt at times and how sweet and wonderful her husband was. It is the good memories during those hard times that buoy Nancy and have given her perspective throughout her life.
And what a perspective Nancy has. Nancy has a uniquely comedic approach in sharing her story. She wants to make people feel good and laugh. Because if she can make her experience funny and reassure current cancer patients it isn’t going to be so bad, she’ll share her story with as many people as she can. Nancy wants to give cancer patients a vision beyond their diagnosis and see how much good stuff they have ahead of them, just like her.
This year, Nancy is thrilled to take an active role as a Breast Cancer Survivor for the very first time.
As an agent in Houlihan Lawrence’s Briarcliff Manor Brokerage, she is so grateful for the support she has found in her Houlihan Lawrence family. Especially the co-agents she has bonded with who are also battling Cancer.
It is in partnership with her “work family” that Nancy is excited to co-chair Houlihan Lawrence’s Making Strides of Westchester team. And share her story as a Survivor for the first time.
As a survivor, Nancy thanks Breast Cancer. Because it has made everything else in her life feel like gravy. Her twin boys. Her husband. Her family. Her career. Having the opportunity to move forward with life. And the luxury of worrying about the little things, like hosting her sons’ football team party. Nancy is so glad she gets to experience it all.
About Houlihan Lawrence Stronger Together
Giving back to the communities we serve is a privilege that comes with The Power of Leadership. For over twenty years, Houlihan Lawrence has been committed to supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the local walks that help fund critical research for early detection and treatment.
This year, we’re raising the bar on our largest philanthropic effort and hope to surpass the $100,000 we’ve raised in prior years. Join us and our 1300 agents and ensure our success. Because we are Stronger Together.