Martha Giglio-Black

I am 74 years old and holding! I retired from office work after 35 years in the corporate world but always wanted to be a teacher. And so presently I am a substitute teacher for the Pt. St. Lucie School District, which satisfies that itch and hopefully imparts some of my life-long learning and skills on little minds and hearts. As a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer, I mentor a 6th graders, whom I’ve been with since she was in 2nd grade. I love to read or listen to audio books, work puzzles, cook bake and tend to my herb garden while listening to NPR radio. At present my primary interests include providing TLC to my hubby and my tri-colored Kin Charles Cavalier, Sir Murphy Brown-Black, my four grandchildren, one of whom is preparing to marry a year from September, one who is graduating from The Clark Advanced Learning Center this year, and two wee folks back in New Jersey, (a 6 year old and a 10 year old), and our most recent family additions, two one-year old great grands.

My story:

I am a fortunate two-time breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed - the first time - in December of 2000 during my routine yearly mammogram at the age of 54. Since breast cancer does not run in my family, I prayed that if my diagnosis were positive, it would be caught in time, and it was. My treatment included a lumpectomy followed by 33 radiation treatments but because of early detection, no chemotherapy or reconstruction was needed. I did not seek out any outside support groups as I felt my family and my faith were my strongholds during this time; I felt their support and love and that I had “gotten off easy”.

Fast forward to October 2019, still keeping with my yearly mammogram schedule, once again I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time I had no anchors in the medical field. I had moved from new Jersey to Florida and I felt the gods must not like me much. A lumpectomy was performed (on the opposite side) but since I was now over the age of 70, I qualified for one Intraoperative Radiation (IORT) treatment, a large advantage to reaching my so-called golden years! Once again, no chemotherapy was needed. I feel extremely fortunate that a friend recommended me to the Margaret Niedland Breast Center in Jupiter, where I received the utmost care and attention pre-op, during and post-op.

My message for other women

You may have guessed my message to other women by the carefully placed bolded italics in my story. I cannot stress enough the importance of yearly mammograms. Early detection equates to better, more effective outcomes for treatment and survival. The few minutes of discomfort undergoing the test gives me another year’s peace of mind and that’s worth the world to me, after all, I have a wedding to attend come September 2021!

Theme for chair

The Tree of Life motif that I am using is the idea of my treasured friend and collaborator - read partner in crime - Mary Reichert. She is walking me through every step of making this chair a work of art for she knows I was in the wrong line when the crafting gene was being doled out. Ever my confidant, she too, is a breast cancer survivor but more than that, she is an interior designer par excellence, a fashion forward dresser, excellent needle worker, fantastic cook and hostess and my go-to person for knitting advice. We have known each other since the 1970’s and she knows that my enthusiasm for life was not dulled because I am a (2x) breast cancer survivor.

I’m grateful for every giggle we share, every day of life that elicits a smile from a neighbor who woke up to a giant birthday card from me planted on his front lawn, every day that allows me to enjoy our puppy or make my husband his favorite meal, and I am particularly grateful for the technology and talented physicians who have kept us both needleworking thus far. I have come to believe that all these things make life worth living; that they do make a difference and contribute to the big picture of a happy, healthy life. I know Mary would agree with that.

Chair Location

Aveda at The Gardens Mall
3101 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410