(Update 4.2.13: The “Sisterhood” t-shirt referenced in the second paragraph is now available for purchase in YSC’s online store)
There is really no way to describe it to those who have not attended. C4YW is a respite for those who have been diagnosed young with breast cancer … for three short days. It’s a place where you feel normal again. It’s a place where the things being discussed are somehow relevant to you. It’s a place where some of the most amazing women I have ever met come together and thrive together.
This year YSC sold a t-shirt at C4YW that said “Initiation sucks. Sisterhood is forever.” We just created this t-shirt and were curious if the women attending C4YW would like it. We had only three of these t-shirts left when the conference wrapped. While a t-shirt is just a shirt, it represents something powerful.
|Referring to breast cancer as a “sisterhood” might seem odd to some, but when I think about the strong connections women make with other survivors through both YSC and this conference, sisterhood is the only word powerful enough to explain to other people what these women mean to each other … and to me personally, as a young survivor myself. None of us wanted to be here — but we are — and now we are bound, much like sisters.||
This was my second time attending C4YW. I was so impressed with the breakout session topics and speakers. The sex and intimacy workshop by Barbara Musser was awesome, and the Healthy Eating After Breast Cancer by Jennifer Adler was so informative. There was a Lesbian Women: Dating and Relationships session, as well as workshops geared toward the men who were there to support their partners.
In my opinion, our final plenary speakers, Nancy Buermeyer and Connie Engel from Breast Cancer Fund stole the show. As a woman who has worked in the environmental arena for years, the mission of Breast Cancer Fund is close to my heart. Nancy and Connie did an outstanding job of explaining environmental considerations and providing realistic steps we can all take to lower the impact and level of chemicals to which are our bodies are exposed. As they spoke, I looked around the room and noticed many of the 650 attendees were taking notes. It made me feel proud to see so many of my sisters engaged and know we can deliver such important and meaningful information to the young women we exist to serve.
In the end, we know that money makes the world go around. So, it’s important to give a shout out to our partners who made this amazing meeting possible: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Eisai, Celgene, Amgen, Avon Foundation for Women, Breast Cancer Wellness, Genentech, Oakley and so many others. Thank you!
Love also makes the world go around — I felt surrounded by it at C4YW and honored to be a part of this unique sisterhood.
Hope to see you in Florida next year (Orlando, February 21–23, 2014)!!!