What’s In a Name

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”. Charles Swindoll

This was always one of my favorite quotes for a long time now I just never realized how much it would affect me and my life as it is now today.

So why is my foundation and website titled “Just Call Me Ray?” At first glance you might think it’s all about my name or you might think it’s about me, but that is only 10% of it.

The first time I spoke in front of a group of newly diagnosed young breast cancer patients I had only been breast cancer free for one year. I remember there were four of us telling our story and I was the last one to speak. The first lady, a 14 year survivor, told her story starting out with in a picture of a young boy who was in kindergarten. Towards the end she passed around a picture of her son after he graduated from high school.  This really put things in perspective.  The next speaker was a 27 year-old who was pregnant and being treated for breast cancer. The next was Stephanie.  She was a stage four terminal breast cancer victim.

All the stories were full of hope, courage, struggling and surviving.  There was not one dry eye in the room including myself. I had already prepared what I want to say but I altered the beginning.  The room was so still and sad I had to change it up a bit.

“My name is Raylene Hollrah and I am a one year breast cancer survivor but when you see me just call me Ray because all my female parts are gone.”

The room exploded with laughter and claps to change the whole feeling in the room.  We were all sitting there for the same reason.  We were dealt the cancer card at a really young age, but we all wanted the same thing; to survive and thrive!!!

So now to the 90% of what my foundation stands for.  Yes, it sucks that I had cancer twice but it’s not going to define me.  I believe my purpose now is to bring hope and joy and let the light shine through me and to encourage others to let the light shine through them.  Do you know what it means to have a RAY day?  It means let the light shine through you know matter what your circumstances.  We all have our own challenges and are all dealing with major issues but my hope is to remind everyone to rise above it.

I will never forget when I met Cindy right after my surgery she was 11 year breast cancer survivor and she was in her early 30’s when she was diagnosed.  She told me if she lived every day worrying about dying she would’ve lost the past 11 years which have been the best of her life.  She was one of the many angels throughout my journey and she had a light shining through her straight to me.  It’s my mission to take her light and the light from God and shine through to other people.

Just Call Me Ray - Raylene Hollrah - Sunset

I took this photo on a family vacation and it kind of represents letting the light shine through.  The sun provides the light to shine.  The clouds enhance the light.  The waves reflect the light.  Each of them do their best to let the light keep shining.  Enjoy your life no matter what comes your way because its 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it… So get your RAY on!!!