Hello, my name is Beth Elwood, and I am the Founder and President of Hearts United Against Cancer.

H.U.A.C.'s journey as a non-profit organization began with my own journey as a Cancer Hero.

On October 25, 2006, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The course of my treatment took a little over a year and consisted of 5 surgeries and 8 chemotherapy treatments.

Going through cancer treatment was a very humbling experience for me and my family; instead of us being the one to reach out and lend a helping hand to others, we now needed assistance ourselves.

Our family and friends rallied around us and provided support by:

  • Helping my family and I take care of my children, who were only 6 and 3 at the time, throughout my surgeries and treatments.

  • Delivering food and meals to our home.

  • Arranging for a cleaning service to assist us with the upkeep of our house.

  • Friends wrote and gave me beautiful, inspiring note cards throughout treatment; all of which I have kept and one of these cards still resides by my bedside to this day.

  • One special friend always had a surprise waiting on our porch after each treatment; sometime magazines, or a basket of goodies. This gesture helped to uplift my spirits and showed me how much she cared.

When I look back, specific moments from that tough year stand out the most:

Hardest moments:

  • The phone call where I received my cancer diagnosis. After I hung up the phone, I felt like I was thrown into this void where time stopped and I couldn't breathe let alone think.

  • Walking into the chemotherapy infusion center for the 1st time, because for me that was when I truly realized I too had "Cancer".

Unexpected Moment:

  • Losing my hair and having my head shaved wasn't as emotionally difficult as I thought it would be; having a friend shave my head and another good friend there for moral support helped bolster my emotions as well.

Funniest Moment:

  • When my 3 year old son decided my bald head made a nice smooth hill to run his toy cars over.

Happiest Moment:

  • When I walked out of the chemotherapy infusion center after my last treatment.

That year of treatment and surgeries was the most difficult period of my life, but it taught me so much about myself. I discovered an inner strength I had never known before and developed a deeper appreciation for life.

That year also showed me how wonderful people are, how they can rally around you to uplift your spirits through their love, thoughts, prayers, generosity, and support.

I didn't realize it then, but the seed for Hearts United Against Cancer was also born in 2006-2007 and that seed continued to grow and flourish until it blossomed into a full fledged beautiful flower in July 2014!