I first met Jacque Balbas-Ruddy when I wrote about her in September. She had recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer and as the courageous, vibrant fighter told me then, “In a way, getting breast cancer the first time was one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me,” she said as we drove. “Without it, I’d never have met the most incredible people or would be in a position to help others like this.”
She’s the mother of four and is a single parent. She is going to school to get a degree in psychology. And she will not let the next year of treatments prevent that, or keep her from being a team mom, or from anything else in her life.
But she did know the chemotherapy treatments would take their physical toll and so today she brought together a group of family and friends to a Fountain Valley hair salon to ceremonially shave her head in advance of the side effects. Inspiring as always, Jacque led the group in a prayer circle, then sat in front of a mirror and, with both her son’s help, did what she wanted to do.
She was bright-eyed as ever, positive and upbeat, and she held everyone together. This remarkable woman is juggling a myriad of issues as she goes through this, but she soldiers on each day with endless smiles and warmth.There is never any self-pity from Jacque, just selfless strength for those around her, especially her young boys.
As we enter the holiday season, I will be posting ways here that we can help she and her kids, but in the meantime, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.