The mission of Get Your Rack Back Inc. is to provide support, kindness, and needed items to cancer patients and their families in the Capital Region of New York.
We help families in crisis by providing restaurant, gas and grocery gift cards, as well as financial aid to those struggling to meet their physician and hospital co-pays. GYRB works with local physicians to provide these services to cancer patients who need our assistance.
To truly understand our mission, I must first tell you the meaning of our logo. That starts with the story of a remarkable woman. Her name was Jackie Bramer and she was my mother. She was a kind, caring woman with an infectious laugh, a witty sense of humor and a love for life that made any room light up the moment she entered. Basically, she was an angel here on Earth.
On a rainy July day in 1989, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The third generation in her family. I would become the fourth. After a long journey with cancer, she passed away on April 10, 1996 and heaven gained an angel that day. She was 53 years old.
At her funeral, the smell that filled the room was that of stargazer lilies. Not my mother's favorite as she was a rose and tulip lover, but the flower synonymous with death and funerals. For years as I would smell this flower, a sadness would come over me thinking of what I had lost. They say that there is no greater love than that of a mother for her children and as a mother, I know that to be true. But there also exists the love of a daughter for her mother.
Shortly after my diagnosis in November 2008, someone sent me a dozen stargazer lilies, obviously not knowing how I felt about them. I stared at them, cried and put them in my basement.
A day or two later, I went down in my basement and I made peace with these flowers. It was a moment in time where I finally felt joy seeing and smelling them because they reminded no longer of sadness but of my mother's beautiful smile.
I have always adored hot pink gerber daisies so when I wrote my memoir, "How Connie Got Her Rack Back," I wove these flowers together included on the cover as I wrote my book not only for myself but for the memory of my mother. If you look closely, you will find places within the book where these flowers are placed.
So you see, our logo comes from a place in my heart with a message my mother instilled in me. "Always leave people better for having known you." A message that we carry on in our organization to help those coming from this same place of struggle. Get Your Rack Back Inc is not about giving cancer a voice. It is about being a voice for others and caring about people. My wish for everyone is that we all do our best to leave people better for having known us. And we can accomplish this by helping one family affected by cancer at a time.
Thanks for your interest in Get Your Rack Back!