ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg woman battling terminal cancer does not let the disease run her life.
Sandi Gellar's friends are celebrating her because her attitude will also help cancer patients around the world.
"This has given me an opportunity to do things in my life and to help people," said Gellar.
Four years ago, doctors diagnosed the 48-year-old mom and wife with terminal abdominal cancer.
"It's not about me," said Gellar.
But Gellar shared her story with a global audience, entering a contest, held by Mary Kay Cosmetics. The company asked entrants to describe beauty in one word and then write an essay.
"Bold just came to me as I was thinking what I wanted to choose and yes, I think beauty is bold, character is bold , strength is bold, just being a bold person is being a positive person," said Gellar.
Her message resonated. The public voted on line. Choosing 50 contestants out of more than 60,000. Sandi's Mary Kay Rep, Rita Obrochta, urged her to enter-Rita's watched Gellar's medical journey.
"She has a cancer that is a little more aggressive and for her to pull through it, push forward and get the chemo and to empower other women what she is going through I think that is how she won."
But she's not the only winner. Gellar received $5,000 to give to a charity of her choice. She wanted to help cancer patients, but hers is rare.
"There really is no concentrated group or study on my type of cancer," said Gellar.
"I sit in the chemo room every week-and there are so many women who are affected with breast cancer, and I see how it affects them not only outwardly and inwardly."
That's why she chose The Hope Chest. A local charity that helps uninsured women get breast reconstruction. Alisa Savoretti started it after her own struggles.
She lost a breast-but could not afford the surgery.
"The power of the dollar at the grass root level has so much more of an impact on our mission," said Savoretti.
Savoretti said the money will help someone locally.
And for Gellar, knowing she made a difference inspires her to keep fighting to live so she can help others.
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