Post Op Positivity for Breast Cancer Survivors

In addition to the arduous physical rehabilitation challenges inherent in the breast cancer surgery and treatment process, survivors also inevitably contend with the psychological distress triggered by the diagnosis opines Arlene Nelson, a survivor and founder and proprietor of Pink Stone Place, a company which provides survivors with a range of options in breast forms and specialty pocketed apparel.

Arlene, whose entity is a JN Rewards merchant partner, says finding a path to regaining or even enhancing a positive self-image and outlook is an important component of the lifelong process of recovery and renewal.

She was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in her late 20s. With no family history of breast or other cancers, nor any personal history of ill-health up to that point. She described the diagnosis and subsequent mastectomy and treatment as nothing short of surreal.

“As far as I was concerned I had a blueprint for my life and I was in the process of building successfully to spec. I had finally settled on a master’s degree in business, having experimented with software engineering and Spanish,” Arlene told her story.

“I was married a few years and was now the happy caregiver for a toddler a little over a year old.  The breast cancer fight was an incredibly disruptive and destabilising experience to be sure.”

Arlene benefited tremendously from the support of family and friends, in the face of what she described as a “brutal” treatment plan in which she was given chemotherapy and radiation treatments above standard because of the aggressiveness and advanced stage of her disease. For her, the support she received bolstered her, as she strived on the mantra: “As long as my eyes open in the morning, I’m getting up!”

As her recovery progressed, Arlene became intimately familiar with the challenges survivors face in sourcing post-op products that adequately support a return to active life. The knowledge created an opportunity for a convergence of her survivorship journey and entrepreneurial instincts.

A futile search for desperately needed products one day led to an epiphany, as she thought that perhaps many other survivors were experiencing similar challenges. Pink Stone Place was her response.

The business spent considerable time in beta-testing mode, Arlene said, as she conducted research and basic due diligence to ensure the business would provide the value she felt survivors needed and deserved, before launching in March of this year.

“We are an ecommerce venture which emerged from and will continue to be driven by a tremendously important social issue,” she asserted.

“After the survivor absorbs the ‘shock and awe’ of diagnosis, surgery and treatment, a spirited, conscious determination to live well inevitably forms. That will manifest differently for every survivor, but the common thread is the need for products that restore a balanced appearance after breast surgery, allowing for a confident return to a fully functional lifestyle on her terms. The world is still turning, after all.”

Members of The Jamaica National Group receive discounts and exclusive promotions starting from a base five per cent with additional offers available from time to time. In addition to accessing these benefits through the primary retail channel at, JN members are also able to access benefits at special marketing events such as Relay for Life.

Founding the Pink Stone Place has given Arlene a sense of satisfaction through her promotion of a social good, which arose from personal traumatic health crisis.

“Given my intimate understanding of the struggles associated with survivorship, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to discuss product options with customers with credibility and authenticity, and connect with both survivors and caregivers with a genuine understanding.”

Survivors and caregivers can visit the Pink Stone Place to explore its products at; follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at @pinkstoneplace; or, they can send an email to:; or call 876 490 4988.

JN Rewards Programme Expands to Florida

Hazelle Rogers (center), Mayor of the city of Lauderdale Lakes supported the JN team of Debbie-Ann Williams (left), Partnership and Community Relations Officer, JN Bank and Carmen Bartlett, Regional Manager of JN Money Services (USA) during the launch event held recently at the JN Money Transfer Office in Lauderdale Lakes.

JN Bank has extended the reach of its JN Rewards Discount programme for members with the launch of its first Florida merchant partners, in the United States of America (USA).

The five new partners who are based in Fort Lauderdale, will provide discounts of up to 20% on the purchase of goods and services from their operations by JN Card holders.

Speaking at the launch event held for Florida merchants recently, at the JN Money Transfer Office in Lauderdale Lakes, Carmen Bartlett, regional manager of JN Money Services (USA) said, that the “JN Reward programme is  one of the ways the organisation has sought to demonstrate its appreciation to clients.”

“JN has maintained strong relationships with its customers, and through this programme, we are now able to provide tangible benefits to everyone, who will be able to access discounts from their favourite retailers,” she explained.

The programme provides discounts on the purchase of goods and services made by holders of JN Debit and Credit Cards, the JN Money Transfer and the JN Retirement scheme cards, at more than one hundred merchant partner locations across Jamaica; and is now available in Florida. Persons visiting Jamaica will also be able to use their JN Cards to access discounts from these merchants.

The new Florida-based merchants who joined the programme include: CCJ Solutions (multi-purpose store), Dave’s Jamaican Bakery, Shoppe Jamaicans Grocery Store,  Sam’s West Indian Grocery and D & L Caribbean Grocery.

Mrs Bartlett pointed out that holders of JN Money Transfer Cards will be the most immediate beneficiaries under the JN Rewards programme, “as they would be more likely to have that card, as opposed to the other recent JN branded cards.”

“JN Money Transfer customers can, therefore, benefit from discounts via the JN Money Transfer rewards programme. This is also one of several ways in which we continue to say ‘thank you’ to our loyal customers,” she maintained.

However, Mrs Bartlett, noted that JN members visiting Florida will also be able to benefit from the programme at these locations by showing their other JN cards, which are issued in Jamaica.

In Jamaica, the JN Rewards programme continues to expand across the country; and includes the providers of hotel accommodation, beauty and health care and recreational services.