Rose Parade float: Julie Campoy on becoming the princess of hope

December 1, 2013 | by

Julie Campoy celebrating her birthday. Photo credit: Julie Campoy

Julie Campoy celebrating her birthday. Photo credit: Julie Campoy

For those who have battled cancer, each tomorrow is, in reality, a dream come true. On Jan. 1,  former City of Hope patients will see another dream come true: They'll be riding atop City of Hope's float in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade.

The theme of this year's float is "Turning Hope and Dreams into Reality"; the theme of the parade is "Dreams Come True." Here is the story of one rider: Julie Campoy

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I was already well familiar with City of Hope long before I was diagnosed with breast cancer.My mom had also been a breast cancer patient at City of Hope for many years, and after she passed away my sisters and I hosted a fundraiser to set up a scholarship in her name to honor oncology nurses and to assist with their continuing education in that field. The day after the fundraiser, Dr. Stephen Forman called me … I could tell by the tone of his voice that it was not a social call. Indeed, my recent mammogram looked “suspicious”… and we went from there.Within a year of my mom’s death, I was back on campus with the same team that treated her. I went from being a perfectly healthy and active 45-year-old to the “inconvenience” of cancer in short order. This all happened right at the busiest time of my business season …hence the “inconvenience.” Lumpectomy, twice a day radiation, six rounds of chemo, nine months of infusions … a long year and a half of treatment, indeed. And while I don’t wish this on anyone, the treatment prescribed and how it was all administered was manageable.  I always say that cancer is a mental game, and remember the words that my surgeon said — “we can fix you, but we can’t heal you.” I was confident the strategy I received at City of Hope was the very best I could hope for, and that trust in the medical team is paramount.I had faith in myself that I would be a both a diligent and vigilant patient, knowing that personal accountability is equally important. I continued to work at my business throughout as it brought a great sense of joy and the community was so supportive. I am happy to say that I feel terrific, am grateful it’s over, and have the best hair cut ever – and one that I never would have had to courage to do!So all’s well that ends well …I tried out to be a rose princess many decades ago – unsuccessfully – but have always had dreams of somehow being in the parade.So to be the princess of hope is just … well, a dream come true, indeed!Thank you, City of Hope, for this opportunity!

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