Quick Bio: Roberta is a three-year breast cancer survivor and founder and president of Infinite Strength, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to underserved/underinsured women diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of the women helped by her organization are single mothers who are financially disadvantaged and/or below the poverty level.
Beyond the bio: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 after I discovered a lump during a self-exam. I feel like I was just learning to embrace myself at that time: not concerned as much with what other people thought of me, and just enjoying life and my family. I loved my 40s! And then came the diagnosis. I lost my breasts, hair, self-esteem and dignity. When I was through with treatment I had to figure out who I was because I did not recognize myself, and it was a tough road.”
What makes you a grown-ass lady?: “Having breast cancer pretty much stripped me down to the bone emotionally. But in a lot of ways that was a good thing as I began to see myself in a totally different way. It taught me how strong I am, made me believe in myself, become more independent and more aware of what is really important in life. I was always a control freak, worrying about things that had not even happened. Now I don’t worry about what I cannot control. I spend my time in much more positive ways, and I feel good about who I am. It is very freeing.”
1. On the nightstand: Always a stack of books. I am currently reading Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton and just finished The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Advocating for women who have a disease that is capable of not only taking their breasts, but shattering them emotionally, diminishing their cognitive ability and destroying them financially.
3. Jam of the minute: I have honestly been listening to Jonas Brothers “What A Man Gotta Do” every time I get in the car. It’s upbeat and happy. Fits my mood.
4. Thing I miss: My dad. He died from lung cancer when I was 19, and I miss him every day.
5. ’80s crush: Robert Urich. Not just because he was adorable, but because he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
6. Current crush: My husband. Through the ups and downs of life, he is the one.
7. Latest fave find: Ere Perez natural beauty products. Their mascara is absolutely amazing, but I love their foundation and powder as well!
8. Last thing I lost: My kids would probably say my mind. Seriously, chemo brain is a real thing, and I used to have a fabulous memory. Now I need to write everything down, and if I don’t it is truly lost to me.
9. Best thing that happened recently: My oldest daughter got her first college acceptance letter — and then another and another. It was so exciting to see her face light up.
10. Looking forward to: Watching my three daughters grow up, go out in the world and recognize all their potential. I know they will use their talents to make the world a little bit better.