Leslie Haywood was a stay-at-home to 2 beautiful daughters ages 1 and 3 when a dinner party changed the trajectory of her life. Her husband served her the wrong piece of chicken off the grill and that night she started sketching prototypes for her gift idea and grilling innovation known as Grill Charms™. A few months after that very spicy light bulb moment and right in the middle of all that is involved with starting a company, raising two children and building a grilling gadget empire, her life would change again with a simple yet also very complicated call. “It’s cancer” her doctor said.
Leslie’s first introduction to Breast Cancer happened at the tender age of 16, when her then thirty-something mother sat the family down to talk about the terrible disease. Her mother had found a lump and after a lumpectomy, biopsies, and further testing it was determined that she did indeed have breast cancer and it had progressed to stage IV. Her mother and father sought treatment from one of the most aggressive oncologists in the area who bombarded the advanced cancer with high doses of chemotherapy for a prolonged period. Leslie and her two younger sisters watched as the treatment to this horrendous diseases drained the mind and spirit of the most happy, healthy, positive person they had ever known. After the fight was over and the battle won (YES, Leslie’s mom is now almost 20 years cancer free and Leslie’s biggest fan) Leslie knew that she had to be ever vigilant. Having a mother who was stage IV in her thirties, she knew the genes were not on her side.
At the age of 30 Leslie went for her first baseline mammogram. All was well, but she knew she could never become complacent. At the age of 34 Leslie went in to have her digital mammogram and this time something was “different”. Her doctor said “I really don’t think it’s anything, but with YOU, I don’t want to mess around”. A week later they did the needle biopsy and she waited for the results, wondering if this time was going to be THE time. It was. She thought about her own two precious daughters who were 1 and 3 years old and felt so sorry for the genetic legacy that she had potentially left for them. Now with her bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction complete, her scars won’t let her forget, but her personal fight is done. Both her mother and she won their battles, but the war is far from over. Leslie has two younger sisters and two beautiful daughters, so her mind still can not truly leave the disease behind. 10% of the proceeds from The Pink Collection will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation annually to help fund breast cancer research and find a cure. Maybe someday, we can let this disease live only in the past.
Pink Ribbon Pink Ladies Hat Pink Chef Hat Pink Wine Glass Pink Swan Pink Shoe
Founder and President
Charmed Life Products LLC