Welcome to the blog series “Thoughts From Chris,” a quarterly letter from our Executive Director, Chris Schwab. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!
October is the final wrapping up of summer and the welcome of fall; at Here for the Girls (H4TG), it is a busy time as it is also breast cancer awareness month. This is a month to take a moment to stop and think about the 1 in 8 women in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with this disease. Unfortunately, this statistic could apply to a member of our family, a friend, or a co-worker.
Many breast cancer organizations are focused on helping women manage and live with this disease, as is Here for the Girls. I commend all who dedicate their time and expertise toward this common goal. With our different programs, services, and styles we are all addressing the needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
We support young women under the age of 51 because of the unique challenges and fears women in this age range face with their diagnosis. We listen to the words of our women like AJ, who said, “Halfway through chemo, I hit a wall. I felt nobody understood what I was going through.” Our team dedicates their time to understanding the challenges young women face and continually improves comprehensive support programs designed to train facilitators and deliver our support services. AJ left her first meeting comforted by knowing she had “sisters” that understood her fear of not seeing her children grow up. She is now a trained H4TG facilitator and a 2020 calendar girl ambassador helping other women.
We build and nurture relationships with the medical community because they understand firsthand what happens to a young women’s emotional well-being after a diagnosis and that many times the impacts last long after treatment. It is our responsibility to partner with the medical community in offering vital information through educational sessions, our published breast health guide, and our weekend retreats - all that provide the most up-to-date knowledge they need to continue living their best lives beyond this disease.
We connect on a personal level with our communities because people understand that breast cancer is very much a community issue. It is our mothers, wives, sisters, and partners that are faced with this disease and the statistics that give them a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed. Marsha Hudgins, CEO of Hudgins Contracting and supporter of H4TG shares, “this (H4TG) is for real people who live in our community – people that we can see, talk to and know what they are going through.” Women play a vital role in the health of communities; they are strong leaders, they inspire the youth, and they mentor others. It is important to connect with the community so that together we build an environment where women with a breast cancer diagnosis understand the positive impact they have.
As we launch into the month of October, I ask that you take a moment to think about the statistics and the impact of breast cancer on your community. Take a moment to listen to the sentiments of our calendar girl ambassadors in the this video. Share our services with someone in need. Give us a call or email if you would like to learn more or get involved. Help us be “here for our girls.”
Thank You For Your Support,
Chris Schwab, Executive Director