Angel Care: Getting the word out with pictures

Bonnie Michal slipped into a pair of angel wings and jumped behind a bouquet of Valentine’s Day heart-shaped balloons, posing as Ms. February in the Angel Care 2006 calendar.

Michal, a camera-shy Silverdale resident and Realtor, is a volunteer with Angel Care Breast Cancer Foundation, providing emotional support for newly diagnosed patients. In the three years since she has been a resource, there were only three referrals to her from the Kitsap area, so she finally braved the photo shoot in the hope of getting the word out.

“I never stepped forward before this but I know how much awareness (the calendar) generates,” Michal said.

A five-year breast cancer survivor herself, Michal learned about Angel Care long after she fought off the disease.

“I had no idea this existed when I was going through cancer,” she said. “Had I known about this, it would have been an encouragement.”

When she was diagnosed in 2000, Michal leaned on an acquaintance in the Central Kitsap area who had gone through breast cancer six months before.

The calendar debuted in October to celebrate breast cancer awareness month. Michal says she hopes it also will bring awareness of Angel Care and the “physical moral support” that is available locally through volunteers like herself.

The Redmond-based nonprofit agency was founded eight years ago by breast cancer survivor Jan Harris and now serves the greater Puget Sound region.

When Michal was fighting cancer, she lived in a house with four men, three sons and her husband. It was hard for her to burden her family and it is especially difficult for the children themselves to cope.

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