For the girls

For the girls

The Official Blog of Here for the girls

, August 03, 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

When Stacy Crossett felt a knot above her right breast, she visited her doctor right away. After an unclearstacy mammogram, an ultrasound and biopsy confirmed she had breast cancer. That was four years ago, and she credits the BB! sisterhood with helping her through the rough patches, as well as celebrating her victories. As a calendar model, Stacy wants to offer other women the same love and support she has known as a Boober!

Stacy works at Sentara as a lab assistant and is the mother of four: Jared Greene (24), Jordyn Greene (21), Jillana Greene (20), and Noah Crossett (4 ½). She and her husband Nathan have been married for 16 years. Here Stacy talks about the important role BB! plays in her life and her experiences during her photo shoot.

How did you find out about Beyond Boobs!?

My nurse handed me a Beyond Boobs! rack card when I went for a consultation with my surgeon. When she handed it to me I thought I didn’t need a support group, but she insisted I take the card, so I did. It wasn’t long after she gave me the card that I decided to make the call to BB! and spoke with Charlene Cattoi, who encouraged me to come to a meeting that month.

I was a little apprehensive at first, but all that went away quickly. Being welcomed with open arms really touched my heart. The ladies were amazing and their inspiration and courage amazed me. Everything I had been feeling, they understood. I even got a show-and-tell for those kinds of questions, too. The Boobers! became my lifeline on my journey. Just when I felt I couldn’t keep my head above water, I would go to the monthly meeting and feel energized all over again. I really don’t know how my journey would have turned out without them by my side.

What five items would you put in a time capsule to open 10 years from now?

  1. iPhone
  2. Essential oils
  3. LuLaRoe leggings
  4. A Snickers bar
  5. Wine

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

Gustav Klimt. I’d love for him to do a portrait of me to portray who I am now after cancer.

Name three things on your bucket list.

  1. Go to Aruba, my dream island.
  2. Go to Italy and Greece, my dream countries.
  3. Own a log cabin home on the west coast in the mountains, with a stream and horses.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile? 

Being able to be with my family.

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

This is by far an honor to be chosen as a model for BB! For me, it would be to show women to not be afraid. Keep your head up and beat the odds, no matter what is handed to you. Just because it says something in black and white doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Hopefully my story can help someone else who is starting their journey and let them know that they have GOT THIS!

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

Being able to share a portion of the shoot with my youngest son. Noah is our miracle baby. My tubes were tied for 16 years when my husband decided he wanted to have one of his own. My husband had recently returned from Afghanistan, and after being over there had decided there had to be more to life then what we had been living. We had my tubes untied and became pregnant the first try. Ten months after Noah was born, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now after having chemo my ovaries have shut down for good. So for me to be able to have him be a part of this shoot meant so much. Life is definitely a precious gift.

, July 27, 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

Adriana Westbrook discovered a lump in her breast purely by accident while taking a shower in 2013. After she wasadriana diagnosed, her mother purchased A Calendar to Live By and Adriana was introduced to Beyond Boobs!, a group of women she credits with saving her life. Now, as a calendar model herself, Adriana hopes to inspire other women and their families.

Adriana works as a legal team lead for Sentara Healthcare. She lives in Virginia Beach and is the mother of two daughters, Alyssa (15) and Joel (8). The family also includes a Bichon Frisé named Princess Mya. Here she shares the top three items on her bucket list, as well as her explosive experiences during her photo shoot.

Name three things on your bucket list:

1.) Buy a motorcycle and ride across the country.

2.) Travel to Ireland.

3.) Meet my great-grandchildren.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

My daughters.

What was your first summer job as a teen?

Waitress at a pizza place.

What was your favorite childhood toy?

The outdoors.

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

That I get to give back to the ladies who saved my life.

What was the most impactful moment of your photo shoot?

The entire shoot was very impactful. My photographer had fireworks of ideas shooting from his head and he took my mental image and made it reality.

, July 20, 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

Patti CoffieWhen Patti Coffie was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2014, she knew just what to do. She immediately contacted three friends who were survivors and learned that all of them were members of Beyond Boobs! Her friends encouraged her to join BB!, and now Patti has the love and support of an entire network of “sisters.”

Patti lives in Currituck, North Carolina, and is a middle school gifted coordinator for Currituck County Schools. She and her husband Greg tied the knot in May of 2016 after five years of dating. She has three children: Krysta (24), Kayla (21), and Colin (15). Patti is beyond excited to be representing BB! in A Calendar to Live By 2017. Here she shares her plans for a perfect day, as well as what it means for her to serve as a calendar model.

Describe your perfect day from beginning to end.

My perfect day would be to wake up to all three children being home, then just have a fun family day. Eat out, go bowling, go to Topgolf, go see a movie, or go to the beach or a festival. Just a fun-filled family day!!

What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

I am not a very daring person. My most daring experience would probably be swimming with stingrays in the Bahamas. I was very hesitant to do it, but ended up loving it and actually did it again the following year!

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

If I could live anywhere, it would be in close proximity to all my children. I want to be a part of their lives as they marry and start their own families.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

My amazing husband Greg is guaranteed to make me smile. We have been through so much together, yet he can always bring a smile to my face with his thoughtful ways.

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

Being selected as a calendar model is a tremendous honor and has given me the chance to be a voice for Beyond Boobs! It has allowed me to speak with a lot of women about breast cancer and hopefully make a difference in someone’s life.

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

The whole photo shoot was extremely emotional for me. It was the week after my wedding and emotions were running high. I was amazed at the effort and professionalism that went into the shoot and I can’t wait to see the end results. And posing for hours is not as easy as it looks!

, July 13, 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!

A quiet conversation with God led April Salvant to get a mammogram after experiencing breast pain. On July 20, april salvant2015, her life changed forever when she was diagnosed with cancer. A world traveler, April was about to face a new journey, but she would never walk the path alone. Beth Oliver, a breast cancer survivor and Boober!, encouraged April to attend a Beyond Boobs! Not Your Typical Support Group. As a calendar model, April wants to bring hope and inspiration to those facing the fear and uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis.

April and her husband Scott have been married for 22 years. The couple lives in Mechanicsville, VA, with their five children: Jadon (19), Jeff (16), Caroline (16), David (14), and McKenna (14). In anticipation of the big reveal for A Calendar to Live By 2017 at the Pink Carpet Gala in September, April opens up about time capsules and cartoons, as well as her experiences at her photo shoot.

What five items would you put in a time capsule to open 10 years from now?

  1. Haitian coffee
  2. My husband’s craft beer
  3. A letter to myself
  4. Canvas and paint
  5. Picture of my kids

If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be? Why?

Mrs. Incredible. She fights for her family with fierceness. And she is super stretchy.

What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

 Lived in other countries.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

Babies.

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

Honored to be selected. I hope that my story can inspire others and bring healing to broken hearts.

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

During the interview, an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for my husband came over me and I started crying. I didn’t want to mess up my makeup, but the tears had to come. He really has been the very best through this ordeal. I am so very thankful.

, July 11, 2016 | More Post by

Scott Mielock first danced onto the Beyond Boobs! stage three years ago. He and his wife, Melinda, a professional dance instructor, are part of Starlets of Dance, BB!’s annual fundraiser that celebrates survival through movement and music. Scott has served as the event’s emcee, and also performs with Melinda during the program. The couple thrives on BB!’s energy and enthusiasm, and they love sharing their passion for dance with the organization.

Scott Mielock, Mr. Breast Fest 2016, and runner-up Robert Glover pose with BB! Co-Founder Mary Beth Gibson.

Scott Mielock, Mr. Breast Fest 2016, and runner-up Robert Glover pose with BB! Co-Founder Mary Beth Gibson.

In addition to his dancing shoes, Scott now has a new accessory for his wardrobe – a crown. Last month he earned the title of Mr. Breast Fest, and he is eager to begin his reign, which was a year in the making.

“Some of the Boobers! I met at last year’s Starlets of Dance event told me I should compete to be Mr. Breast Fest,” Scott explained. “I said I would, and when the deadline for applications rolled around, those Boobers! didn’t forget! I was flooded with texts and messages,” he added, laughing.

For a year, Scott thought about the strategy he would use during the Mr. Breast Fest competition. A Navy man for more than two decades, Scott is no stranger to tactics and lots of planning. “I wanted to maintain a fun, carefree, crazy mentality, but also be serious about raising money for the group,” he said.

Seeking to bring new ideas and a burst of energy to the event, Scott treated the competition like a presidential race. He promoted his involvement on his Facebook page, asked for likes from his followers, and sent out tweets. “I wanted to make it a very active process,” he said. “I wanted to get the message out and engage people online to get donations.”

Because of his background as an actor and dancer, Scott thought he would have the competition in the bag. He got a little nervous, though, when he saw the other contenders in person at the Eagle’s Nest in Chesapeake, where the event was held on June 11.

“I was sizing up the other guys and realized I had my work cut out for me,” he said. “I had no idea what would happen, but I had fun with each part of the contest because I knew the money I raised was going to a great cause.”

Decked out in a decorated bra that fit his curves just right, Scott spent the afternoon dancing for dollars, holding on for dear life atop the mechanical bull, answering on-the-spot questions, and munching his way to greatness by being the first to eat a doughnut suspended from a string.

The doughnut-eating contest during the Mr. Breast Fest contest was a tough challenge.

The doughnut-eating portion of the Mr. Breast Fest contest was a tough challenge.

“Eating a doughnut from a string is a lot harder than people might think,” Scott said. He mashed his doughnut against the head of Robert, another contender for the crown who was voted runner-up. “I was basically eating the doughnut off of Robert’s head,” Scott explained. “I even left a streak of white powder on the side of his head. How can you not be entertained by that?”

When Scott’s name was called as the winner, he accepted his crown with a mixture of relief and excitement. “I love what BB! stands for, and I love that they are working to support women diagnosed with breast cancer,” he said.

Robert Glover, a personal trainer at Brix Fitness, has many friends in the Hampton Roads fitness circuit, including Joshua Banks, Mr. Breast Fest 2015. When Joshua told Robert about the Mr. Breast Fest competition, he was all in.

“The competition was literally an answer to my prayers,” Robert said. “I had been asking God for a way to lend my energy to an important cause, so finding Beyond Boobs! was like a divine connection.”

Robert had never worn women’s lingerie before, but luckily he had a client at his fitness studio who offered to help him out by putting together something for him to wear. He admits he spent a few extra minutes in the restroom before the event, adjusting the sparkly, hot-pink garment, but he wore it well and was voted runner-up.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I had no real strategy,” Robert said. “I wanted to smile, talk to people, and try to pry some dollars out of their pockets for the cause.”

Robert enjoyed meeting and talking with people as he worked to earn votes at the event. He especially loved interacting with the Boobers! “I really liked seeing the looks on their faces as all of us guys made fools of ourselves,” he said.

Robert looks forward to taking part in BB! events in the year ahead, and wants to be involved with the group as much as he can. “I am in the fitness industry, and a big part of my calling is to educate people about the advantages of living a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “I want to use my talents and experiences to educate and inspire others.”

, July 11, 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!

After feeling a lump during a self-exam, Deirdra (Dee) Sanchez made an appointment with her doctor, who dee sanchezrecommended a mammogram and ultrasound. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in late December of 2013.

When Dee’s oncologist gave her a copy of A Calendar to Live By 2014, she had no idea she would one day be gracing its pages as a calendar model. Dee has drawn strength and support from her Boober! sisters and is honored to spread the group’s message of compassion and love.

Dee works as a warranty manager for Chesapeake Homes. She and her husband Tom have been married for 26 years. The couple lives in Virginia Beach and has four children: Danielle (24), Jessica (22), Jacquelyn (20), and Thomas Junior (17). The Sanchez family also includes two dogs, Max and Mandy, both Jack Russell terrier-beagle mixes.

Here Dee shares the two most daring moments of her life, as well as what she would do if she met singing legend Pat Benatar.

What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

I have two things, since I can’t decide which is the most daring. The first is singing the national anthem at Harbor Park for a Tides game. The second is zip-lining at the Virginia Adventure Park.

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

Well, after thinking about it, I really wouldn’t necessarily need to go back in history. My ideal person to meet would be Pat Benatar, due to the fact she set the stage for all female rock/pop stars. What would we do? But of course, we would perform together across the country in every state.

What was your first summer job as a teen?

A nanny for two kids.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

My husband always makes me smile. If he is not around, then listening to music will always make me smile.

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

Being selected as a calendar model is a great privilege and honor. It means I have an avenue to help give back to Beyond Boobs! and share with many other women that have (or have not) been diagnosed and share with them about Beyond Boobs! and how they can help their loved ones as they go through their journey.

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

The most impactful moment had to be the whole experience. I smiled and laughed during the whole shoot and I felt beautiful inside and out because the crew was wonderful in making me feel so comfortable, even if I did make one of them cry. That just showed me that Beyond Boobs! truly does care and wants us to feel special.

, July 01, 2016 | More Post by

The Women Behind the Boobs – Meet Chris Schwab

By: Jamie McAllister

Beyond Boobs! is one big happy family, but it is also a business. In addition to a host of amazing volunteers, BB! has been blessed with a group of talented, hardworking staff members who are truly the backbone of the organization. Because of their love and dedication, we are able to continue our mission of providing encouragement and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Staff members work behind the scenes to make sure all of our events run smoothly, and they take care of the millions of not-so-sexy, but just as valuable, details of running a business. Most important, they are there for our Boobers!, helping them live life with an exclamation point!

We share so much of our lives with our staff. Spending time with these amazing women and getting to know them and their families is a joy. And now it is our great privilege to introduce them to you. In the coming weeks, the blog will feature profiles of our staff members – the women behind the boobs.

chris schwabChris Schwab has the distinction of being the very first full-time staff member Beyond Boobs! brought on. She has held the title of Managing Director for six years and she cherishes every moment she spends working for the group.

Chris worked as a teacher and a school administrator in Pennsylvania until she and her husband David took a chance and moved to Cape Charles, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. She took a position as assistant principal at Accomack Public Schools, pivoted again to a position with a commercial construction company, and then discovered Beyond Boobs! in 2008.

“I was looking for a philanthropic connection for the commercial construction company I worked for and I found Beyond Boobs!,” Chris explained. “When I attended the Pink Carpet Gala for the first time I was just blown away by what the group was doing.” She called BB! Co-Founder Mary Beth Gibson bright and early Monday morning to ask how she could get more involved.

Chris volunteered with BB! for about two years before she signed on as a staff member in July of 2010. “It was like coming home,” she said. “It was another big transition, but every night when I put my head on the pillow, I know that I have reached someone.”

Over the years Chris has watched the BB! family blossom and grow. As managing director she plays a part in every aspect of the organization. “I work closely with Mary Beth and help manage all of the pieces,” she said. “I am behind the scenes and I love it.”

Sometimes, though, Chris puts her hair in a ponytail, dons a baseball cap, and is just one of the girls. “The annual Boober! retreat is my favorite weekend out of the whole year,” she said. “It gives me the chance to really connect with the women we serve.”

Through all of the growth and change Chris has witnessed during her years with BB!, one thing has stayed the same. “The BB! culture never goes away,” she said. “We still offer that personal touch. The reasons we wake up every morning and what we think about before going to sleep every night are the Boobers!”

There is no doubt Chris has helped shape the direction BB! has taken, but BB! has also left its imprint on her life. “BB! has gotten me out of my box,” Chris said. “And after hearing the stories of our Boobers!, I am a different person and I look at things differently.”

Chris and her husband David have been married for 32 years. The couple has two adult daughters, Victoria and Samantha. This past fall they welcomed two sons-in-law into their family, and in a few short weeks they will meet their very first granddaughter. Their family also includes Rocky, a 14-year-old Shih Tzu-poodle mix.

, June 30, 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!

leanneLeanne Krause was diagnosed with breast cancer twice, once in 1998 and again in 2004. A friend connected her with Beyond Boobs!, and now Leanne is proud to represent the group as a model for A Calendar to Live By 2017. She wants to serve as a guide and show other women that living life with an exclamation point post-diagnosis is possible.

Leanne is an administrative secretary for the Newport News Public School Division and is mom to two adult sons. Here she talks about her favorite day, the one thing guaranteed to make her smile, and what it means to be a calendar model.

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

Right here, as everyone I love (except my brother) is here and everything I need is here (though I love to travel).

What was your first summer job as a teen?

Cashier at Captain D’s.

Describe your perfect day from beginning to end.

My entire family all together in a waterfront house with no time frame to follow or structure of any kind. Waking up when I want, doing what I want, and having everyone getting along together.

What is guaranteed to always make you smile?

A giggling baby.

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

A chance to share my story with those currently in the fight. Letting them know that they too can have a future and will make it through this current nightmare.

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

I can say the shoot evolved into something I had not planned on. In my mind was that I was 55, had survived cancer twice, and am now an empty nester with no one at home to answer to. I think I am very lucky to be given a chance to share my story with other survivors as they go through their journey. I feel they can see me so very far out from my fight and they too will see 12 years, 15 years or 30 years out. As they experience the chemo and radiation, I want to instill hope that they will make it through and enjoy tomorrow, just as I have.

, June 29, 2016 | More Post by

Beyond Boobs! is one big happy family, but it is also a business. In addition to a host of amazing volunteers, BB! has been blessed with a group of talented, hardworking staff members who are truly the backbone of the organization. Because of their love and dedication, we are able to continue our mission of providing encouragement and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Staff members work behind the scenes to make sure all of our events run smoothly, and they take care of the millions of not-so-sexy, but just as valuable, details of running a business. Most important, they are there for our Boobers!, helping them live life with an exclamation point!

We share so much of our lives with our staff. Spending time with these amazing women and getting to know them and their families is a joy. And now it is our great privilege to introduce them to you. In the coming weeks, the blog will feature profiles of our staff members – the women behind the boobs.

lisa marshallIn January of 2014, Lisa Marshall began a new chapter in her life. Recently divorced, she had retired from her 30-year teaching career and her daughter Eme was away at college. She was also celebrating 10 years as a breast cancer survivor. It must have been fate, then, that led her to BB!’s booth at the MyTime Women’s Show in Hampton, Virginia.

“I was drawn to their booth,” Lisa said. “It just radiated energy.”

That day Lisa met Vicki Vawter, BB!’s Events and Community Relations Manager, as well as Gale Bryant, a BB! volunteer. The three hit it off right away, and by the time Lisa returned home she had received an e-mail from Gale about volunteer opportunities. Lisa became a “Tuesday Tag Team” (T3) volunteer and is now a Full-Support Volunteer for Events and Corporate Liaison.

As a volunteer, Lisa jumps in to help with any number of events BB! hosts or attends each year. In fact, one year after she met Vicki and Gale, she was manning the booth at the MyTime Women’s Show. Lisa spends a great deal of her time preparing for the “Breast” Ball Golf tournament, as well as the Pink Carpet Gala. She has also traveled with BB! cofounders René Bowditch and Mary Beth Gibson to out-of-state conferences related to breast cancer.

“The spirit of Beyond Boobs! fills my heart,” Lisa said. “The unconditional love they have for survivors is tremendous. If I can help with events that raise money to support this group, then I want to do that.”

Lisa lives in Newport News with her daughter, Eme, and a miniature dachshund named Pretzel. Lisa enjoys crafting and cooking, especially Cajun food that reminds her of her Louisiana heritage. She also loves to travel.

“I never seem to run out of things to do,” Lisa said. “I live life with an exclamation point, and I want to help others do the same.”

, June 28, 2016 | More Post by

The Women Behind the Boobs – Meet Gin Marks

Beyond Boobs! is one big happy family, but it is also a business. In addition to a host of amazing volunteers, BB! has been blessed with a group of talented, hardworking staff members who are truly the backbone of the organization. Because of their love and dedication, we are able to continue our mission of providing encouragement and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Staff members work behind the scenes to make sure all of our events run smoothly, and they take care of the millions of not-so-sexy, but just as valuable, details of running a business. Most important, they are there for our Boobers!, helping them live life with an exclamation point!

We share so much of our lives with our staff. Spending time with these amazing women and getting to know them and their families is a joy. And now it is our great privilege to introduce them to you. In the coming weeks, the blog will feature profiles of our staff members – the women behind the boobs.

Gin marksGin Marks went from Beyond Boobs! calendar model to full-support volunteer in just a few short years. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Gin was in her oncologist’s office when she caught a glimpse of a BB! rack card. The words “Not Your Typical Support Group” caught her eye.

“I had been to support groups with my brother for lymphoma and my mom for diabetes, and they were depressing and boring,” Gin said. “Beyond Boobs! just looked like fun.”

Dinner with BB! cofounder Mary Beth Gibson led to modeling for A Calendar to Live By 2009. She wore her sash with pride to represent BB!, and in 2010, when she retired early from NASA, she signed on to be an office volunteer.

As an auxiliary staff member for operations and management, Gin draws on her project management background to assist BB! with strategic planning, grant writing, policy development, event planning, and more. Outside the office she assists with event setup, conducting safety walk-throughs, or registering guests at a BB! signature event.

“I am an introvert, so my behind-the-scenes work with Beyond Boobs! fits me perfectly,” Gin said. “The women I work with are incredible, and we work well together as a team.”

Gin lives in Hampton with her husband Rick. The couple has been married for 37 years and have two adult children, Maurie and Sean. They are also doting grandparents to three grandchildren, Liam (1), Mikko (4), and Halvor (1).