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Mara Hargarther

Vacation Specialist

Mara got the call on a ship in the middle of the ocean. That’s what she does. She travels the world and creates unforgettable travel experiences for her clients. She is one of the most successful travel agents in the country, but her most memorable accomplishment was completing her first 5K for The Donna Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds groundbreaking research and provides economic assistance and emotional support to individuals living with breast cancer.

I never wanted to look back. I knew if I could finish this race, I could finish anything. There are no winners or losers. No one who’s ever lost the battle with cancer is a loser, and anyone who is surviving is winning.

Despite living through three melanomas and breast cancer, Mara is grateful for her experience. She says it taught her how to be a better friend, a better mother, and an overall better, more sensitive person. Her biggest takeaway from living with cancer is to never ask someone what they need.

“If someone is going through something major, don’t ask them what you can do to help, just do something. Anything. The ones who need help the most are the least likely to ask.

Mara learned firsthand what it felt like to need help and not want to ask for it, and she learned right away who her biggest supporters really were. Aside from her close family, she found her professional family at Celebrity Cruises and Dream Vacations to be incredibly supportive, so much so, she invited them to be part of her photo shoot with Beyond Proper.

By receiving unconditional love in some of the most unexpected places, I really learned how to give people what they need at the times when they need it most.

Mara’s advice to anyone going through cancer, or really any type of life trial, is to take each moment, put it in a box and keep moving forward. Don’t live scan-to-scan, don’t put off your dreams and always live for today. For Mara, giving people what they need and living in each moment is what keeps her going #beyondstrong. The first thing she did when she was cleared to travel was take a Celebrity Cruise to the Galapagos Islands. It was one of the most magical experiences of her life — and she hasn’t looked back since.

The Donna Foundation

Through a continued partnership with Dream Vacations and Celebrity Cruises, we came together to create limited edition #BEYONDSTRONG tees for both women and men. Ninety-five percent of proceeds support The Donna Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding groundbreaking research in tandem with the Mayo Clinic and providing economic assistance and emotional support to individuals living with breast cancer.