Thursday, March 25, 2010

Incredible Woman #31 - Ginger Johnson. Thursday's Questions...

KARA: "Is friendship important to you? What do you do to stay a good friend to other people? How do you keep in touch with your friends?"

GINGER: "I think everyone needs a good friend. I am blessed to have several. My best friend is my husband, Travis and following close behind is a group of girls who have become like sisters me. I think in order to have good friends, you have to be a good friend. I know that sounds like something you're mother would tell you - but it really is true. You have to truly care about the other person and be willing to be there for them no matter what the situation. You have to love them unconditionally and be willing to forgive quickly. And you have to LOVE chocolate. OK. So that's not a prerequisite - but it doesn't hurt! :)

My group of friends tries to get together about every 6 weeks. We usually meet for dinner at my house and then stay up till midnight talking about things that are going on in our lives. Breast cancer, divorce, new babies, new businesses, church callings, family trips, funny stories - we've talked about them all. We do have a few rules, however. Husband bashing is not allowed -- Which works great for the 2 girls who are recently divorced because they no longer have husbands so they can vent all they want. It's great therapy and it's free. The other rule that just seems to always be followed is that the conversation must be helpful and end on an uplifting note. We've really never discussed actual 'rules' but it always seems like every time we're together we are edified and inspired to be better. We always leave each other empowered to conquer the next day and to face the next trial as an opportunity for growth. I am very blessed to be surrounded by such great people!"

KARA: "Tell us about your website, Happy Chemo. What is your goal with this company?"

GINGER: This is my FAVORITE part! HappyChemo! is a direct result of a choice I made when faced with a huge trial. And that one choice has made a HUGE difference in my life. Let me tell you about it.

My journey with cancer began on one of the scariest days of the year - Halloween. I remember it clearly. I was 31 years old, the mother of 2 and 5 months pregnant. Yah...Scary.

To say I was shocked would be a understatement. I was young, healthy, with no history of breast cancer in my family. I'm too young to have cancer...right?!! Obviously cancer doesn't care.

All my friends will tell you that I'm not one to sit around and be negative. It's not in my DNA. Besides, life's too short. Well, after a few doses of chemotherapy, I realized that in order to maintain some level of happiness in my life I was going to have to do something drastic. I had to figure out a way to make chemo less depressing. Not just for myself but for everyone in the infusion room.

After many sleepless nights and sincere prayer, I finally figured it out. BINGO! Quite literally...Bingo. I'd be the caller and the patients could play. Then I hand out prizes to the winners. Although my oncologist thought what I was trying to do was admirable, the thought of hearing BINGO! all day must have been too much for the poor man because he said 'No'.

Not to worry, I had a Plan B. I originally called it 'Do Good, Feel Better' because when you 'Do Good' for others, you're the one who will ultimately 'Feel Better'. It's true. I've tested it.

On my 'good' days I'd take my newborn and two older children and visit local companies to obtain freebies and discounts. Then before my treatments began, I'd hand out these items to patients as HappyChemo! presents. Awards for just being alive. For being a fighter. For taking their chemo medicine and for living one more day.

Through one of the hardest experiences of my life, HappyChemo! was born. A unique promotional marketing and distribution company that is 'Doing Good' for cancer patients to this day.

My goal is to expand HappyChemo! across the nation and provide some happiness for the thousands of cancer patients who have to take chemo to live. I know that with the participation and financial support of companies and individuals who believe in what I am trying to accomplish I will be able to achieve this goal.

You can visit my website at to learn more about my company and unique distribution method and I welcome anyone who is interested to email me directly for further information. My email is ginger(at)happychemo(dot)com."

Just want to say that I love the idea that Ginger had... trying to make chemo patients happier. Believe me, chemo is not an easy thing to take. It makes you sick, tired, and scared. I would have loved having someone there to cheer me up when I went through chemo. Thanks so much for your service, Ginger! Tomorrow will be the last day of Ginger's feature here on Incredible Women. Please join us for the last two questions/answers.


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