Give more. Help more. Share more. These are easy words, but powerful actions. It is the mantra for Pink Warrior Angels, a non-profit organization serving Americans and active-duty military who have been diagnosed with cancer. Its founder and CEO Julie Moser spends every day giving, helping and sharing as a survivor of a disease that shattered her world.
Cancer knocked on the door of the Moser family in October 2013 when Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Life was hard in general,” she said. “Being a mom, a military wife and now working to have a sense of normalcy for our family. I had a lot of side effects, lots of rare complications and I even had to stop working. There were so many things that quickly started to stack against me.”
The diagnosis came just as Julie was gearing up for what would be her last class before earning her college degree.
“I was really close to being finished with my bachelor’s degree when it happened,” she said. “I had to start doing treatments and reached out to CSU to let them know I had to stop for now. One of my professors encouraged me not to stop but finish that final course at my own pace. She told me with so much going on, this would be something to look forward to and I should keep going. So, I did.”
One year after she was diagnosed, Julie walked across the stage and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration. She knew that with her degree and newfound view on life, she wanted to make a difference and change lives in the process.
“I found that there wasn’t a lot of assistance and help for middle class families, much less military families. While I was going through treatments, we needed help and that is tough to ask for,” she said. “I started Pink Warrior Angels in 2015 with the intent to give more, help more and share more. This means giving financially, helping the community and sharing resources.”
In December of 2020, Julie found herself battling cancer for the second time. While most would look at the negative, she chose to find the positive. With this new drive and determination to continue helping others, Pink Warrior Angels began to flourish.
Pink represents breast cancer awareness. The warrior symbolizes those fighting the disease and angels are the ones who come and help. This is how the organization found its name. One of Julie’s angels, Sun Scanlan, was diagnosed with breast cancer five years after her. Although she calls Sun her angel, she is best known to her as mom.
“My mom was a big believer in giving and helping others with a hand up and not a handout,” Julie said. “She is where I get my giving heart from, but it definitely grew bigger as I watched her go through treatment. She passed away in February of 2022 and now I have an angel always on my shoulder watching and pushing me.”
Although October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, Pink Warrior Angels works year-round to return the favor of those who serve in the military that are battling cancer.
“In our community we do a lot of things together in our small town,” Julie said. “We kickoff breast cancer month in the last week of September with a 5K run. We also do a pink block party and pink football games. Our goal is to raise another $60,000 more than we did last year so we can give more to our warriors monthly. Right now, we give away $6,000 a month to those in treatments.”
Julie reminds herself and those around her that we are all resilient and that you never know how strong you are until you are going through it.
“Keep going,” she said. “It is going to have to be one foot in front of the other. Some days you want to stop and that’s OK. Mentally we can slip into a dark space, but the key is to acknowledge the dark space because you have to bring yourself back out of it. In the end, always know it is ok to get help.”
To learn more about Pink Warrior Angels, scholarship opportunities and how to donate, visit PinkWarriorAngels.org.