Knicely Done: When a rose is more than a rose

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Alissa Bousquet heeded the advice from her doctor when she turned 40.

"She told me to get a mammogram when I turned 40 and not to wait," said Alissa in an interview with WOWT 6 News.

Alissa is glad she followed that advice even though some in the medical field now maintain that a mammogram at age 45 is sufficient.

"They found a lump and I could not feel anything. There was nothing to alarm us to begin with, it was purely the mammogram that found it. "

The shocking news came on December 31, 2015 and what followed for Alissa were six chemotherapy treatments spaced six months apart.

"We had great support from the community," said Alissa's husband Brad.

Their four children were also encouraged by that support. "With the cards my mom gets, people asking at school, 'how is your mom is doing?"" said 17-year old Emmy.

Alissa finished the treatments strong and Brad decided to celebrate the final session with roses for his wife. And with a little more thought, he planned a way to make the occasion extra special.

"I spoke to our florist in Oakland and said 'Why don't we just raise money for breast cancer research at the same time and have everybody purchase a rose for $10 apiece with anything left over going straight to the Susan G Komen Foundation.'"

Brad's text messages to family and friends quickly spread and he eventually had to cap the number of roses at 500. Money that came in after that went to a cash donation.

The plan worked perfectly. Alissa sat amazed next to her husband at Estabrook Cancer Center in Omaha as a steady stream of family and friends brought in vase after vase.

"Alissa left with one vase and we distributed the rest of them to other patients at the Center," said Brad. "We got to know a number of patients during all the time we spent there."

Brad's idea generated a $4,700 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which had proved to be a valuable resource for the family after they learned about Alissa's breast cancer.

"She turned 40 with no family history of breast cancer," said Brad. "It was just by her doctors advice and we're thankful she did the mammogram. It saved her life, we're very thankful."

Knicely Done!

For more information on the Susan G. Komen Foundation, click the link included with this story. Registration for the Foundation's Race for the Cure on October 9, 2016 is underway.