Breast cancer is a universal challenge facing an army of dedicated and well-equipped soldiers. This army of family and friends of breast cancer patients and survivors has recognized the need for better resources, more accessible therapy and wellness centers, and programs that assist each of them as individuals affected by the disease indirectly. Billions of dollars have been poured into research for a cure with goals to drastically reduce the number of fatal cases within our lifetime. These six organization have remarkable stories and unparalleled programs that promote the total health and longevity of women worldwide who are warriors in the battle of breast cancer treatment and recovery.
The Side Out Foundation helps victims of breast cancer to “regain control of their lives,” which plays off the age-old volleyball saying “side-out”- meaning “regain control of the ball.” By developing a program named “Dig Pink,” this organization has raised millions of dollars for breast cancer medical trials at leading institutions. Some of the funds raised contribute to support services for cancer patients and their families in need of respite. When coaches and athletes across the country participate in Dig Pink, they are empowered by the teamwork and leadership skills that volleyball teaches while enabling the “development of treatments that are giving stage 4 breast cancer patients more quality time with their families.”
The late Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder launched the Pink Ribbon in 1992 with her co-creator Alexandra Penney of SELF Magazine. Today The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign is thriving and the Pink Ribbon is the universal symbol for breast health. In their 24 years of service, The BCA Campaign has raised over $65 million for global research and education efforts. On the fight against breast cancer, Mrs. Lauder once said, “It really is something that can never be done by any one person; it has to be done by a group.” Today the organization has global ambassadors that represent the Pink Ribbon brand and the mission it stands for.
Exercise is an integral part of the recovery process for patients overcoming any condition. Strength For Life has free equipment and classes for individuals recovering from all forms of cancer. They even host weekend retreats at no cost for cancer patients to relax and learn while implementing a plan for optimal health and wellness. Retreat guests are treated to guest speakers and classes in yoga, reiki, zumba, and more more interactive courses. For more regular programs, members can participate in walking classes or nutrition seminars to further their recovery and education.
Support Connection offers an array of services for women with breast or ovarian cancer, completely free of charge. Unique to this organization is their toll-free line that engages women across the country. The peer counseling provided on the line is staffed by cancer survivors who are well-equipped to answer any questions for women battling these two forms of cancer. They also have local and toll-line support groups and webinars, making their resources highly accessible. Overall, they aim to provide, “emotional, social, and educational support services to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer.”
The founder of Unite For HER, Sue Weldon, established this organization only 5 years after her own diagnosis with breast cancer in 2004. She recognized that throughout her treatment and therapy, there was a lack of resources and programs on total wellness, especially readily accessible ones. With 7 core values including Compassion and Empowerment, Unite For HER provides a plethora of educational material on nutrition, beauty, and wellness for women everywhere. Each year they host numerous fundraisers with one main event called the Pink Invitational for gymnasts to, “compete to help others in need.”
This New York City based organization takes a holistic approach to long-term care and recovery for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Since day one they have addressed the needs of “those who needed it most and could afford it least.” The programs they provide are all free or low cost and include acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, and more. Through 12 years of service to NYC breast cancer patients and survivors, You Can Thrive has upheld and embodied a belief in, “Better outcomes regardless of income.”