In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I feel it’s s time for me to speak out about my personal journey. Even though one in nine women are diagnosed with breast cancer, I never thought it would happen to me, until it did.
I’ve chosen to keep things close to the vest until now, not wanting to become a social media story for all to see, so I’m admittedly nervous about being so vocal now. I bowed out of public life last December to ensure I stayed healthy while navigating my cancer journey, which was difficult given my profession.
We had this “Medical Marvels” issue on the schedule long before my diagnosis, so when it came time to plan for our October issue, I felt it was the right time to share. Within our cover package, you’ll find, not only my story but also those of Alan Avery, who survived a harrowing emergency with the help of first responders and Atlanta’s incredible medical resources, as well as doctors pioneering new treatments in everything from vision to childhood allergies. I hope you’ll be inspired and have peace of mind that such top-notch resources exist in our city.
Additionally, I hope many women will be helped by hearing my story and will make their annual mammogram appointment a priority. I am living proof that early detection is key, and the advances in medicine every year provide new opportunities for treatment and survival that were not previously available.
So many people took the initiative, without being asked, to help my husband, Sonny, and me while we were navigating this health crisis, and we appreciated it more than they will ever know. Friends who sat with me while I was recovering; offered prayers, messages, cards and flowers; and those homemade meals and deliveries from Instead of Flowers were our lifeline.
I also want to offer huge gratitude to the Simply Buckhead team who kept the ship sailing while I was mostly behind the scenes; my team of trainers at Pinnacle Fitness, who kept me in peak condition and made my recovery much easier; and my incredible team of doctors and caregivers at Emory Winship Cancer Institute for ensuring that while I may be a statistic, I am now a survivor. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Publisher & Founder
Joanne Hayes is a 26-year veteran of the publishing industry, having worked for 12 years as an Account Executive for an award-winning Journal Register Company newspaper group, Southern Rhode Island Newspapers, and 3 years as the Marketing Director of SO Rhode Island, a publication of the award-winning magazine company Providence Media, prior to her move to Atlanta in 2009.
Simply Buckhead Magazine was conceived by her company, ValueStream Media Group, and began publication in 2010, with Joanne at the helm as Publisher and Founder. The publication quickly became the “must-read” publication for people who live, work, shop, dine, entertain, travel, have families, homes, and pets and participate in philanthropic efforts, and has literally been read online all over the world.
ValueStream Media Group is a media partner and sponsor to CURE Childhood Cancer, Bert’s Big Adventure, Atlanta Community Food Bank, The nsoro Educational Foundation and Joanne currently serves as a Board Member for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.