At 33 years old, the last thing on Chelsea Berler's mind was breast cancer.
She had not yet even reached the age doctors recommend to begin having mammograms. So when Berler discovered a lump in her armpit and went for a routine exam, she did not expect to hear the words "You have cancer."
But, that's what she was told after all tests were done.
Not only was the diagnosis breast cancer, but it was early Stage 4 triple negative, one that is very aggressive.
"I was surprised," she said. "I am pretty healthy and young. Breast cancer was nothing I was worried about."
Berler's maternal grandmother died of breast cancer in her 50s, but Berler had undergone testing for the BRCA gene and tested negative.
"How I got it is a mystery. For me, it was not genetic," she said.
With no time to waste, chemo began immediately.
Berler was fortunate to have not only a very supportive husband at her side, but also a strong support system of family and friends, all who wanted to be there for her.
"After my diagnosis I was getting so many gift boxes with things in them like ginger candies and nausea socks to keep my toes warm," she said.
However, when going for chemo she discovered that many people do not have a support system and went alone for treatments, which made Berler sad. She began giving some of her gifts away to those she encountered who were alone.
"I had this community around me, and for those who don't have it, I wondered, 'How can I help them?'" she said.
So even in the midst of her own trials, Berler came up with the idea to start a foundation.
She named the foundation after her maternal grandmother who passed away from cancer -- the Foye Belle Foundation.
Berler and her friends and supporters have been collecting items to fill blue bags, which she will give to her fellow patients and any others who are undergoing treatment.
The blue bags she received were full of art supplies, socks, lip balm, lotion, ginger candies, etc., and she is doing the same.
Supporters in Old Florida Village have now raised enough funds to fill 50 bags with donated and purchased items.
People can request bags for themselves or nominate people who are undergoing chemo to receive a blue bag. This is done through the Foye Belle website. If donations and/or funds get low, the request form on the site will be taken down, then put back up when funds are available.
"I'm so fortunate," said Berler.
She is looking forward to her chemotherapy treatment being complete in February. Then, in March, she will have a double mastectomy with six weeks of radiation.
"I am taking an aggressive chemo regime and radiation should be able to wipe it out," said Berler.
Items beneficial to her that she would like for the blue bags are ginger tea, ginger candies, queasy pops, lip balm, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, inspirational books, adult coloring books, colored pencils, journals. oatmeal, scarves, candies, and cozy socks.
"The better donations we get the better the bags will be," said Berler.
Next, she wants to look at getting larger corporations, such as Crayola, to partner or donate.
"We hope by raising awareness to get more and better contributions," she said. "My friends and family have been such a godsend and I am so grateful for them. And I am insanely thankful for my husband for asking all the questions, doing the research, talking with doctors, and for having the drive, energy, and the dedication to demand we win and continues to make me repeat that mantra every single day."
Berler's husband, Mark, has stopped shaving and started growing a beard, saying he's going to grow enough hair for both of them.
"We have accepted this challenge and if we can have your support in pushing us forward, we will be forever grateful," said Berler.
For more information, visit foyebelle.org/.