Together we climb
At Living Beyond Breast Cancer, we believe in the power of community to improve the lives of people impacted by breast cancer — to build empathy, compassion, and understanding, and to elevate the voices and experiences that are too often missing from the typical breast cancer narrative. And, we know that when the breast cancer community comes together, we can have a deeper impact than any individual or any one organization can.
Over the weekend of May 11-15, 2022, nearly two dozen women of color impacted by breast cancer set out to do exactly that at the second annual For the Breast of Us (FTBOU) Baddie Ambassador Retreat, held at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Baddies, women selected to help expand the reach of FTBOU into their communities and work in pursuit of health equity for women of color affected by breast cancer, came from 18 different states to share their breast cancer stories, bond with new and old friends, and, perhaps most importantly, to acquire new skills for greater advocacy.
Among the attendees was Keneene Lewis, Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Support Services Coordinator. Keneene attended both as a Baddie and to provide newer Baddies with a deeper understanding of LBBC and its many programs, events, and services for the breast cancer community.
While Keneene went to share, she came away with much more. She said, “I left the retreat feeling full and focused: Full from the sisterhood, fellowship, and cherished memories shared by all who attended; focused on our mission to continue to spread the word about FTBOU, build upon our ongoing collaboration with LBBC, and ready to continue to shine the light on health disparities that Black and brown women continue to face in the breast cancer community.”
Also in attendance was Marissa Thomas, FTBOU founder and CEO, LBBC Board member, and former LBBC Young Advocate, who said: “Our theme of the retreat this year was 'We Lift As We Climb' and our collaboration with LBBC shows just that. We look forward to working with LBBC in continuing to uplift the voices of women of color affected by breast cancer by equipping them with the tools to advocate not only for themselves but those in the community.”
If you are interested in learning more about breast cancer advocacy and how you can get involved, two great places to start are LBBC’s Leadership Volunteer Programs and FTBOU’s Baddie Ambassadors program.