‘We just decided it was not going to beat us’: Guilford County woman opens store after cancer recovery

North Carolina

COLFAX, N.C. (WGHP) — Even when the statistics showed that it was unlikely Helene Avraham-Katz would have much longer to live, she didn’t stop making plans.

“I’m not stupid. I’m not naive. I know that cancer will always be part of my life, but it will never ever be my life,” she said.

Her mother died of pancreatic cancer as did her uncle. Avraham-Katz’s father died of lung cancer about a year before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October of 2016.

“We just decided it was not going to beat us. No matter what, we were going to work together, and we were going to fight it,” she said.

Avraham-Katz went through chemo and surgery. Just over a year after she had been clear, the cancer came back.

“I had way less than five percent chance of surviving two years, and I had a 20 to 25 percent chance of not waking up from surgery,” she said.

Although the prognosis was not good, she made plans to open her store: The Butterfly Effect.

She refers to it as a cocoon of local artists and crafters.

Avraham-Katz wasn’t expecting to see the store come to fruition but also understood the benefit of focusing on something positive.

Against all odds, she received the keys to the store in June 2019. She has been clear of cancer since December 2018.

“I truly, truly believe that attitude and state of mind has a lot to do with it,” she said.

Despite the physical and emotional toll, she embraced staying optimistic and shares that same message of encouragement in her book also titled “The Butterfly Effect.”

“I kind of feel like there has to be a bigger reason for me being here, and this store’s giving me a lot of that,” she said.

The Butterfly Effect is located at 3319 Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax.

Avraham-Katz’s book with the same title is available at the store.

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