, August 09, 2019 | More Post by

Welcome to our blog series, “Mission Moment!” It’s a snapshot of the impact our mission and programs have on the women we serve. If you have any questions about Here for the Girls support services and programs, email the program team at support@hereforthegirls.org!

Do you want to know who helps make our loving support possible? Our amazing facilitators, also known as “leaders of love!” And, trust us — they’ve truly got the love! These amazing women (a few of them are pictured here at our annual facilitator training weekend) volunteer their time to lead our in-person support systems which span across four states and serve over 300 members annually. They open their arms and homes to our members and provide support through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.

Check out what one of our members had to say about the impact of her support system:

“This group has taught me that I can face the ugly cancer beast, look it straight in the eye and say, ‘not this time cancer, you’re not taking another thing from me.’ It has taught me I’m not alone, and I am greater than the cancer beast.”

, August 02, 2019 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

July 6: Based on recent studies over the past decade, the old warnings about how breast cancer survivors should avoid the complication of lymphedema (which can cause irreversible swelling in the arm and often hardening of skin) have been dramatically relaxed. Read the full article in the Washington Post here to find out what experts are now recommending about this health issue.

July 9: Researchers found that non-Hispanic black women were more than twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with so-called triple-negative breast cancers, while women under 40 were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with the aggressive cancer as those aged 50 to 64, according to the study published in Cancer. Read the complete article in Reuters here.

July 10: Using data from a person’s immune response, researchers have devised a blood test that may accurately predict the risk of breast cancer recurrence. The goal is for physicians and breast cancer patients to know the risk of the disease recurring within the next 3–5 years. Read the full article on Medical News Today here.

July 24: Following a request from the Food and Drug Administration, Allergan is recalling its textured breast implants worldwide. The move comes after 38 countries already recalled the implant because of the higher risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL, a cancer of the immune system. Read more or watch a video on NBC.com here.

, August 02, 2019 | More Post by

Age 45, diagnosed at 41

No family history, No known genetic mutation

Virginia first read that she had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) on a patient portal and 20 minutes later learned from her doctor by phone that DCIS was Stage 0 breast cancer. Three weeks earlier, she’d had her first annual screening mammogram. She was asked to return for additional images and then again for a biopsy. Until her doctor’s confirmation, she had never considered breast cancer to be a possibility. After two lumpectomies without clear margins, Virginia had a mastectomy and chose to remove the unaffected breast too. She later had reconstruction. An early education professional, wife, and mother to a pre-teen daughter, Virginia said she always struggled to balance family and work commitments, often ignoring her own needs. “Cancer made me realize how important I am in my own life! If I am not making myself a priority, I can’t be the best version of myself.” Virginia considers herself confident, valiant, and independent, like Beauty. The Beast she faces are her own feelings of guilt and inadequacy, especially from the emotional and physical scars of cancer. She has learned that when she offers grace and compassion to her demanding host, herself, she discovers the value and beauty within.

, August 02, 2019 | More Post by

Welcome to our blog series, Go Beyond Pink! That’s a name we use at Here for the Girls to describe the fun-tastic fundraisers our supporters host for us (or with us)! This series is all about Go Beyond Pink — why people do it, who’s got neat ideas, and how you can participate. And of course, the point of these events is to support our mission to improve the lives of young women affected by breast cancer. To learn more about how to go “beyond pink” with us or to volunteer at any of our events, contact vicki.vawter@hereforthegirls.org.

No matter what October means to you, it’s coming fast. And like a tsunami, pink waves of ribbons in all shapes and forms will decorate the isles of stores, packaging, products, and event flyers across your communities. It’s a thing of beauty, right? Well, kinda. As a nonprofit, we relish the idea that so many people, businesses, and groups want to support our cause and the women we serve — not just in October, but the rest of the year too. We call this desire to support us “going Beyond Pink” because it’s not just about wearing the ribbon; it’s about taking action.

In our H4TG culture, we use the pink heart versus the pink ribbon because for us it IS all about the love! To us, the love our supporters show us by hosting Go Beyond Pink events means obtaining much needed funds to provide more resources for women diagnosed with breast cancer, expand our programs and retreats (at no cost to participants), better equip our facilitators who are directly engaged with these women, and (let’s be honest) pay for office space, for ink cartridges, technology needs, and so much more. If participating in the events of October by hosting a profit share, donating, or creating an event “For the Girls” is calling to your heart – let me thank you in advance! If you support us during other months of the year too, may I just say, “You Rock!” We need this support and we are most grateful.

But, what really brings a smile to my face is something else. Most certainly the money raised is crucial and the chance to see the enthusiasm at each event and make new friends is so special, but it’s also something MUCH more. It’s the opportunity — no, the honor — to make even just one woman who’s facing the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis feel that she is not alone in this fight. It’s knowing that because of this month and our chance to get our name out there even more than normal, someone new may find a sisterhood full of women who have been there. Scars and all – skin deep or hidden inside. She will find that Here for the Girls offers a sense of hope, a place to ask questions, a network of ladies who understand, an opportunity to encourage others just by listening, or just a place to vent frustrations before heading back to work or to take care of her family.

So bring on the craziness of Pink-tober, we can handle it! We are all in this together and thanks to our supporters, donors, and friends in the communities we serve, it’s going to be a great month and we thank you from the bottom of our ‘pink’ hearts.

Vicki

Program + Community Relations Manager