Cadie Bull Smith and her twin sister, Cassidy Bull, were just 24 years old when Cassidy was diagnosed with breast cancer. For the sisters and best friends, it was a condition they wouldn’t be able to share completely as they had everything else in their lives to that point. Cadie was, however, pregnant with her first baby while Cassidy was going through chemotherapy and radiation. Cassidy remembers staying at Cadie’s house and the two of them being miserable and sick together.
“I love being a twin. I know it was hard for Cadie to watch me go through cancer treatments and not be able to take any of the pain from me,” Cassidy said. It was a unique experience for Cassidy being young with breast cancer because there were few people who could relate to her. She has been tirelessly supported by her family, but there is a special connection, a shared understanding, that can only come from someone who has been through a similar diagnosis and treatment as a cancer survivor has.
Cassidy Bull’s cancer was in remission for eight years. She started a foundation called Button Up for Cancer (http://www.buttonupforcancer.com). According to the website, “It’s our goal to use creative fashion to raise awareness and money for those in need. Fighting cancer is emotionally, physically, and financially difficult for everyone involved. With the millions of dollars being raised and given to cancer research, it is our desire to raise and donate money directly to those families in need of our support.” Cassidy points out that just chemotherapy can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000. That doesn’t include radiation, surgery, or drugs. Even with good health insurance, that’s an intense burden on people who are already going through something so difficult.
The website offers earrings made of buttons (Cassidy says with a smile, “It’s nice to have cute earrings when you’re bald.”) as well as a place to nominate someone to receive the funds the foundation raises. Cassidy also started giving chemo survivor kits to friends—items she knew from firsthand experience would bring comfort in a difficult time. A few things she always includes in those kits are: bath salts for achy joints and muscle pain, Biotene mouthwash for dry mouth, ginger ale for nausea, and lemon drops or mints. Button Up for Cancer provides chemo survivor kits that are more personalized as well. They will have a booth in Herriman on September 24th for the Relay for Life of South Valley race, an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
A recent MRI revealed that Cassidy’s cancer is back. She continues to bring comfort to those who are battling cancer while her family gets ready to give her the support that she will need for another round of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.