While undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2015, I found myself struggling, and wondering if I would ever be me again. I felt isolated, depressed, and alone. It was hard to share my fears and struggles with family and friends.
Like many women on this journey, I was trying to balance grueling chemotherapy treatments, my job as a nurse, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a husband and 3 kids. I put on a brave face and reassured everyone saying ‘I’m ok! I’ve got this! I’m a fighter!’, even though I was suffering.
It was during those moments that little acts of kindness such as a homemade meal for my family or a call from a friend was the glimmer of hope that carried me through, the light in my darkness. Inspired by that light, I vowed to find a way to pay it forward and B the Light was created.
Amber Melby | Survivor & Founder, B the Light
B the Light is a 501(c)3, started in 2016 by breast cancer survivor Amber Melby of New Ulm MN. Amber founded this organization to pay forward all the love and light shown to her on her cancer journey. That light in the darkness pulled her through one of the most difficult times in her life.
The name for B the Light was inspired by Amber’s Aunt B, Brenda Plinke. Aunt B battled metastatic breast cancer for 18 years before passing away in 2018 at 58. She lived by the motto “Never Give Up Hope” and inspired all who knew her. B the Light honors Aunt B’s legacy with their mission.
Since 2016, B the Light has expanded beyond New Ulm to Mankato and neighboring southern Minnesota communities. Featuring six programs, including ReLight Retreats, Cooking Beyond Cancer, Hope Huddles, Survival Fitness, Holiday Hope Handbags, and Hope Getaways, B the Light seeks to bring support, connection, and hope to breast cancer survivors, their caregivers, and families.
Amber & Aunt "B"