Breasties Wellness Retreat

Breasties Wellness Retreat

March 01, 2018

In January of 2017, Paige chose to have a preventative double mastectomy after finding out she has the BRCA gene mutation.Up to one in300 women carry a BRCA mutation and they face strikingly worse breast cancer odds than the general population. BRCA-positive women have an up to 87 percent lifetime risk of developing the disease, often before age 50—compared with just over 12 percent among women without the genetic marker, who are more likely to be diagnosed after age 60. Their risk for ovarian cancer jumps significantly too, from less than 1 percent to up to 50 percent. For carriers of the BRCA mutation, a preventative double mastectomy is proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 90 percent, and at only 24 years old, that’s exactly what Paige chose to do.  Feeling completely anxious, alone and afraid, Paige began connecting with other women via Instagram who have been or know someone affected by breast disease, cancer, genetic mutation, or have had any type of breast surgery (mastectomy, lumpectomy, reduction or augmentation). 

 

Photo courtesy of Danielle Pearce

 

This quickly evolved into a growing community of women commonly referred to as Breasties who focus their time together on friendship, positivity and moving mountains, not being stopped by them. It was not long thereafter that The Breasties was formed; a non-profit organization for women affected by breast and ovarian cancer in any capacity – whether through cancer or an increased risk from a genetic mutation like BRCA. The Breasties host seasonal wellness retreats, Breastie Wellness Retreats for women to come together, share in their experiences and uplift their spirits. 

To kick off the first Breastie Wellness Retreat, Paige along with four other women affected by breast and ovarian cancer, organized a completely paid for weekend to the mountains with the help of a handful of generous sponsors. Twenty women, traveling from all over the world, came together for a weekend in the Poconos, NY to heal in nature and empower each other to continue the uphill climb. 

 

Photo courtesy of Danielle Pearce 

 

For many of the women on the retreat, tubing, skiing and snowboarding at Camelback Mountain was the first physically strenuous activity they have done following chemotherapy, surgery or prophylactic surgery. Getting to the top of the mountain together was profoundly representative of the literal and figurative mountains all of these women have been faced with.

Several Breasties were only weeks out of surgery, Bianca Muñiz, 23, a two-time cancer survivor, had breast reconstruction surgery exactly six weeks before the retreat. She bravely hoped on a snowboard and even went down a park trail for jumps. 

 

Photo courtesy of Danielle Pearce

 

“I’m currently battling cancer for the second time. First time was ovarian cancer when I was eleven, and now I’m battling breast cancer at the age of 23. This retreat was so special for me. I bonded with women who have gone through, or are going through experiences so similar to mine. It is so good to know that I’m not alone. I felt refreshed, and happy when the weekend was over. I feel like I have made friendships that’ll last a lifetime,” Bianca explained. 

Other women came on the retreat hoping to try to make sense of their increased breast cancer risk and find a sense of community. Sydney Hersink, 21, came all the way from Dublin, Ireland in order to prepare emotionally for her upcoming preventative mastectomy. Sydney has a different genetic mutation called PTEN that also significantly increases her lifetime breast cancer risk. 

 

Photo courtesy of Danielle Pearce

 

“I’d never imagined that one weekend could have such a profound effect on my day to day life. Breastie retreats reminded me the extent of my own inner power, but also showed me that I don’t have to do it alone. Nothing is more powerful than knowing how strong you are, and for the moments when you forget, knowing your girl gang will always have your back,” Syndey said. 

Sydney wants to share the sense of community she found on the retreat with more women and is currently planning Breastie events for women in Europe. 

The Breasties have three more upcoming wellness retreats, two in the Poconos and one in Newport Beach, CA. Since releasing the retreat dates via Instagram and their website, they have had nearly 300 women apply. 

Check out their website for upcoming retreats, meetups across the U.S. and to become a part of the Breastie community. 

 

Shop the leggings and complete the look.

Shadow Legging - Sweat-wicking material, Slimming S seams, Back stow pocket
Ensemble Bra - Sweat-wicking material, Removable cups for comfortable, Back straps provide support
Cowl Neck Pullover - Sweat-wicking material, Kangaroo pocket stores your essentials, Cowl neck converts to hood

 


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