PEC employees show support for co-worker battling breast cancer

Cooperative unites for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

When life’s hardest battles strike, you tend to lean on those you love the most. For PEC Member Relations Supervisor Yoli De La Rosa, that meant turning to her husband (retired Journeyworker Gilbert De La Rosa), her family, friends, and her co-workers.

After visiting her doctor for a yearly checkup this past January, De La Rosa was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was her second time to face the disease. After enduring more than six months of chemotherapy this time around, she bravely underwent a double mastectomy less than a month ago.

“You never know when something like this is going to happen,” De La Rosa said. “When it does, it sort of throws you for a loop. That’s why it’s so important to keep a positive mind and attitude, and being surrounded by that same energy is what helps you get through.”

On the morning of her surgery, Member Relations teams across the cooperative banded together to show support. Wearing bright pink PEC shirts in honor of De La Rosa and all those affected by breast cancer, they held hands and offered a moment of silence. Then, each team posed for a photo in front of their respective office. They collected these photos from across the service territory to create a collage for De La Rosa and surprised her with it as a get-well gift.

“It means the world and puts you at ease,” De La Rosa said. “You always know your family is thinking of you, but it’s so nice to have co-workers — who are more like friends — that also care. You can just feel the support in the air because that’s how PEC is, everyone’s like a family.”

De La Rosa wants to extend that same support to anyone else going through breast cancer and encourages them to reach out if they have a question or need to talk.

“My team at Canyon Lake, as well as the Member Relations Department and the entire cooperative, have shown such incredible support and have done so much for me,” she said. “I’ve worked here 20 years because I love my job, but it’s a blessing to be at a place that truly cares about its employees — and that’s PEC.”

Her story is just one of many ways PEC shows support for those affected by breast cancer. For the past three years, PEC lineworkers have worn pink hard hats during the month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And last year, employees of the cooperative donated nearly $2,200 to breast cancer resources through the PEC United Charities program, and $11,446 to cancer-focused nonprofits.