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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Darn Good Lemonade

Jan 23, 2015 09:23AM ● Published by Marci Heugly

Mandi Hudson was awarded a shopping spree at Downeast as part of the LIVE for Pink grant. Photo courtesy of Mandi Hudson

Mandi Hudson is not just a fighter; she is a Warrior in Pink. The 35-year-old West Jordan resident was recently named a warrior because of her tenacity in fighting a complicated and deadly enemy: breast cancer.

On Oct. 15, DownEAST Basics and Happy Chemo honored Hudson’s warrior status with a $1,500 grant, a $200 gift card to DownEAST and a gift basket with $1,000 worth of goodies.

This was part of the seventh annual LIVE for Pink promotion held by DownEAST every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hudson received eight nominations from family, friends and co-workers, which caught the eye of the judges.

“What struck me as I was learning about these girls was the strength and beauty with what they accomplish. They have been through so much, and yet they have chosen to do things that have really elevated not just themselves, but also other people,” Ginger Johnson from Happy Chemo said in an interview on Good Things Utah.

Happy Chemo coordinated with DownEAST to provide prizes specific to those who are actively involved in breast cancer treatment: a hoodie with port access, a pillow, ice cubes with vitamins inside and LympheDIVA sleeves, among other items.

“Shortly before I found out about the contest, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and I was getting ready for stage four treatment,” Hudson said. “This prize was something special in the middle of a challenging time; it has been wonderful.”

Hudson was selected from nominees across the western United States because of her capacity to give back to the community through blogging and other efforts. She has been battling breast cancer since her first diagnosis in December 2010.

“I am recording my experiences to hopefully help others through their breast cancer treatment,” Hudson states on her blog. “I decided to call the blog ‘Darn Good Lemonade’ because one of my initial responses to this ordeal is that I better learn to make darn good lemonade now that life has given me some lemons.”

Her blog can be found at darngoodlemonade.com.

In addition, Hudson donated part of the grant money to Metavivor, an organization that focuses its funds on metastatic breast cancer research. The rest of the money will go toward a European vacation she plans to take with her husband Mike in the spring.

“I do want to stop in Rome, but the rest of what and where is up in the air right now,” Hudson said. “I wish I could say I felt amazing right now, but we’ll go when we have the time and energy to go.”     
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