hereforthegirls | 2016 September
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, September 26, 2016 | More Post by

Hi! Welcome to Beyond Boobs!, now one of two support services of Here for the Girls, Inc., dedicated to improving the lives of young women affected by breast cancer. In the near future, this website will reflect this exciting growth. So stay tuned, but meanwhile check out our new Here for the Girls website. We are so glad you came to visit!

Hugs, The BB! Team

, September 14, 2016 | More Post by

We can’t believe it has been ten years since the very first Beyond Boobs! calendar model was chosen for our annual A Calendar to Live By! Our calendar is also a health guide in disguise and offers a year of hope and inspiration, along with reminders to put your health first. We are beyond grateful to our generous sponsors, as well as the 100-plus calendar models who have graciously represented BB! and their fellow Boobers! over the years.

During the next several weeks on the blog you will meet the Boobers! who were chosen as calendar models for A Calendar to Live By 2017. You are also hereby invited to join us at the Pink Carpet Gala on Saturday, September 17, as we unveil this year’s calendar. See you there!

By: Jamie McAllister

A mammogram led to Christy Birgen’s diagnosis of breast cancer in November of 2013, at the age of 43. When herchristycloseup2 surgeon put a copy of A Calendar to Live By in her hands, she knew she had found an incredible group of fellow survivors and supporters.

Christy and her husband Michael live in College Station, Texas, where she is hard at work on a graduate degree in mental health counseling. The couple has two sons, Ryan (17) and Jacob (15). The family also includes Maxx, a German shepherd-American bulldog mix. Here Christy talks about faith, beauty, and spreading Boober! love all through the great state of Texas.

What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

Rappelling into an underground cavern swimming hole.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be and what would you do together?

I would want to meet Jesus and witness his earthly ministry.

What was your first summer job as a teen?

Babysitting.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

Witnessing something beautiful in nature, such as a sunset or being at the ocean.

What does being selected as a calendar model mean to you?

DCIS has some controversy around it regarding treatment (or not) and if it is pre-cancer or cancer. I hope to advocate for DCIS and spread awareness for breast cancer and early detection. My cancer was found early and reduced my treatment. If we can’t avoid breast cancer, I want all women to have the least invasive treatment possible, which means early detection. In addition, I have moved from Virginia to Texas and started a Not Your Typical Support group. I hope being a calendar girl spreads the Beyond Boobs! love here in Texas!!

What was the most impactful moment of your calendar model photo shoot?

Feeling beautiful and powerful and realizing it’s a way to share my story with other women, to let them know they are strong enough to fight this disease. Understanding the responsibility that comes with being a calendar girl and being one of the many faces of breast cancer.

, September 07, 2016 | More Post by

We can’t believe it has been ten years since the very first Beyond Boobs! calendar model was chosen for our annual A Calendar to Live By! Our calendar is also a health guide in disguise and offers a year of hope and inspiration, along with reminders to put your health first. We are beyond grateful to our generous sponsors, as well as the 100-plus calendar models who have graciously represented BB! and their fellow Boobers! over the years.

During the next several weeks on the blog you will meet the Boobers! who were chosen as calendar models for A Calendar to Live By 2017. You are also hereby invited to join us at the Pink Carpet Gala on Saturday, September 17, as we unveil this year’s calendar. See you there!

By: Jamie McAllister

Mary Joe Wilfong had just been through a divorce in 2013 and didn’t have health insurance when she discovered amj lump in her breast during a self-exam. Three months later she finally got a mammogram done through a grant program called Every Woman’s Life. A week later, doctors confirmed it was cancer. Fate – and three of her friends – led her to Beyond Boobs! “Two days before my double mastectomy, I was dragged to a Not Your Typical Support group meeting,” she said. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me in a bad situation.”

Mary Joe lives in the Ghent area of Norfolk and works as an administrative assistant at Stratford University’s Virginia Beach campus. She is mom to three children – Kaitlin Walbrook (24), Kiara Walbrook (22), and Charles Walbrook (20). She also has three special pets in her life. Zelda Mae Velvet is a long-haired black cat with big gold eyes, and Mary Joe credits her with saving her sanity during her battle with breast cancer. Kali Nuggett is a two-year-old Chihuahua who thinks she’s a cat, and Prince Jelly (PJ) is a blue-eyed razorback pit bull who behaves more like a lapdog than a guard dog.

After applying three times to be a BB! calendar model, Mary Joe proved that the third time is indeed a charm when she was selected for A Calendar to Live By 2017. Here she details her perfect day from beginning to end, the things in life that always make her smile, and what being a calendar model means to her.

What was your favorite childhood toy?

I don’t remember toys. I am sure I had lots and lots. I had three younger brothers and a sister, so I guess they were my toys most of the time. I do remember a book in my hand at all times.

Describe your perfect day from beginning to end.

I want to combine several perfect days into one. I’d like to say I want to sleep in, but then I would miss a good portion of a decent brunch with an endless mimosa bar in the company of my children and friends. Or the early morning dawn and creating some bread dough to proof.

I’d want to cook all day, making my favorite meals and breads and loving a good beer or fizzy prosecco. And my friends and family throughout the day would enjoy a never-ending Thanksgiving. I’d love to also just curl up in cool shade and read a good book, too, and play with the dogs at the park, and hear kids splashing in the water close by.

I’d want to travel somewhere quaint and spend the day with my special love, and hold hands and kiss often, and laugh over silliness. Not care about cancer, jobs, stress, or diets. I’d love to see a baseball, football, or hockey game and yell at the referees and umpires over a bad call.

Afterwards get a great dinner, or pull out the bread dough I’m rising and bake it off, and eat it warm with butter. I want to tuck my babies in their beds and read them a bedtime story. I want to curl up with my special love and smile over our fun day, and watch the sunset.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?

Since I have adult children, making choices of where to live is difficult, as they are scattering around the world. Being in Virginia for 20 years makes it challenging to leave.

I’d love to be in Maine. I was there often visiting for two years before marriage to my then-boyfriend, and so thoroughly enjoyed the way of life.

But honestly, lately it’s been going home to New Jersey to be with my mother. I love New Jersey, my home state. Mostly it’s the peacefulness of the house and the almost three acres of land. It’s my brothers down the road. I guess home is wherever the family is.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

My kids, whether they are here with me or not. I think of them and just smile, even on bad days.

My daughter Kaitlin’s laugh and her sneeze. My gosh, it can raise the dead.

My daughter Kiara’s smile and humor. She is our problem solver.

My son Charles’s crazy hair, and how he still sleeps the same as when he was a baby.

What does being selected as a calendar model mean to you?

This is my third try at being a calendar girl. Crazy how with such low self-esteem that I would want to be one so bad. Being a calendar girl means a lot. It means sharing my story, my road, my battle. Showing the real me and not some smiling bobblehead that most days I think I am.

What was the most impactful moment of your calendar model photo shoot?

The most impactful part of my shoot was all the people who were part of the shoot. I was treated like a hot, sexy lady. I was respected for my knowledge of the subject being shot. I just had so much fun, even though the nerves were high and my self-esteem is so low. That afternoon made me feel so, so special.