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The Lydia Project, Inc.

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Giving of our talents to spread faith, hope, and love to women facing cancer.

“Whenever divine resources meet human needs through a loving channel, ministry has taken place.”
-Charles Stanley

The Lydia Project, Inc. has been a labor of love attained one stitch at a time. Amy Breitmann, one of the projects founders was diagnosed with a rare cancer at the age of 29 and saw a gap in the services being extended to women facing this illness. As she awaited surgery in her hospital room in December of 1997, she and her husband felt the peace brought on by the prayers being lifted for her and her unborn daughter. It was a desire to share this peace in the midst of crisis with other women that inspired her and her business partners years later to begin a ministry that gives a tangible sign of spiritual support to women facing cancer treatment. Following this calling has reaped countless blessings.

The project is named for Lydia who appears just briefly in the Bible (Acts 16: 14-15). She was a successful businesswoman in the trade of purple cloth. Lydia was blessed with creativity, a strong work ethic and generosity. Using these gifts, Lydia supported others in their faith walk and extended a hand to those in need. In the same way, our purple-handled totes carry the message of faith, hope, and love to women and their families.

The project has grown from a small venture to its current home in a cottage providing a warm and welcoming place for cancer patients and families. Two part-time directors currently staff the agency and over 250 volunteers who cut, monogram, sew, and distribute totes to women both in the Augusta community and around the country. Any woman at any stage of cancer can receive a Lydia tote bag free of charge. Tucked inside the tote are practical in inspirational items as well as a prayer card that may be returned to the agency for specific prayer requests. Local fabric companies, businesses and individuals have donated all materials and over 1000 totes have been distributed to date and have reached as far as Africa to console a woman in need of faith, hope, and love during their treatment process.

It is inspiring to witness how three women with a mission from God to encourage and support others combined with community support has made a difference internationally. We at Lydia encourage women to look at the “valleys” in their life and determine their talents, abilities and resources. No matter what the physical or emotional obstacles, we can all serve others. We can all use our “valley” to find places of ministry. What a comfort it is to know that we can be used to further God’s will, if we trust and obey.

“You will never know the span of distance- locally and worldwide and the number of lives that are touched by your outreach. The words “faith” “hope” and “love” on each tote offer cancer survivors a visual truth to hold onto at a time when the world seems to be spinning out of control.”

-Carol, cancer survivor and Lydia tote recipient

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I am a Cancer Patient
by Amy Breitman

I am a cancer patient.
I am also a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend.
I have fears and uncertainty,
and days of boundless joy and deep emotion.

I am a cancer patient.
I have a career and goals and a past filled with memories.
I have days I wonder who will care for my children if I am gone-
And days I am certain I will live forever.

I am a cancer patient.
I am also a survivor, an inspiration, an advocate.
I have hope and courage
As well as nights of restless sleep
and days of fierce doubt and deep rage.

I am a cancer patient.
I am experienced in enduring medical procedures and treatments
and feeling exposed to total strangers in whose hands I lay my future.
I have moments of complete confusion and some of total understanding.

I am a cancer patient.
I am skilled at disguising my physical signs of illness
With wigs and hats and makeup and smiles-
But do not be fooled. . . I am afraid.

I am a cancer patient.
I enjoy peaceful moments amidst the uncertainty that is my life.
I am viewed with pity, with awe, and a certain misunderstanding
By those who have not shared my journey.

I am a cancer patient.
And I am blessed because I live life larger than most
because I am acutely aware of life’s preciousness.
I am a product of a tenuous and difficult challenge.
And I am most thankful for the side effects that have helped me become
A better mother, a wife, a daughter, and a friend.

©2006 Amy Breitman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Bio:
Amy Breitmann is trained as a counselor and teacher, and is a 9-year survivor of ovarian cancer. She is one of the founders of The Lydia Project, Inc. based in Augusta, Georgia. Amy received her B.S. in English Education and M.S. in Community Agency Counseling from Bowling Green State University in northern Ohio. While facing her own diagnosis of cancer at the age of 29, she began to feel a calling to support other women facing this devastating illness. She founded The Lydia Project, Inc. with her business partners in 2003.

Amy now serves as the Development Director for The Lydia Project, Inc., an agency that provides tote bags to women facing cancer. Each tote is monogrammed with “faith,” “hope,” or “love” and is made by the loving hands of volunteers as a sign of spiritual support. She is passionate about reaching out to women in the midst of a diagnosis and connecting them with the needed resources during this challenging time.

Amy is married to Troy and has two children, Shelby (8) and Mitchell (5.)

Visit the Lydia Project at www.thelydiaproject.org.
Contact Amy: development@thelydiaproject.org