Our story began five years ago when a group of five individuals each impacted by breast or gynecologic cancer were struggling to find support. Individually, we had each grown disappointed by the existing support spaces. They weren't welcoming and they often divided us based on our diagnoses, ages, stages, and backgrounds.
Why would a survivor want to connect with a previvor? Well it turns out that Allie, diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at age 28, was preparing for her double mastectomy and stumbled upon Paige's Instagram post sharing recovery tips following her preventative mastectomy at age 24.
This is just one of the many ways that our lives were forever changed when social media brought us together. It gave us the vision of creating an inclusive space for all that celebrates our intersections. The space that we wish we each had when diagnosed — a space that welcomes survivors, previvors, stage 4 thrivers, and caregivers.
When the first retreat brought together 25 people across all diagnoses, we returned to hundreds of messages asking about the next one. After hosting a dozen more retreats, we learned that there were still hundreds of unserved community members and Camp Breastie (a mega retreat) was born. We like to say that we've been playing catch up with the community ever since. The breast and gynecologic cancer community will always be our North Star.
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