HOW THE FUNDS RAISED THROUGH POND HOCKEY SUPPORT YOUNG WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER
A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE
iRISE ABOVE FOUNDATION
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations; my journey having breast cancer is no different. Hearing the words “You have breast cancer”, was devastating to me. The fear and uncertainty about my future was overwhelming and disconcerting. After the gauntlets of surgeries and treatments were over I experienced major gaps in targeted, age-appropriate, and connected health and wellness resources to help me feel supported and enable me to rise above the residual effects of breast cancer. I felt alone and adrift as I began to process what had happened to me, while others around me seemed to unintentionally move on. I was determined to fill the gaps I experienced so that others after me could feel supported and empowered to live a meaningful life filled with good health, possibilities and fulfillment. To learn more, my story appears as the feature article in, and cover of, the October 2018 edition of Breast Matters Magazine.
Do the thing you think you cannot do!
Women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 face a unique set of challenges that their older counterparts do not. They may be grappling with issues around physical and emotional intimacy with their partners. Their ability to bear or raise children may be compromised. Their career may have been interrupted in the middle of their professional prime, adding financial strain to the emotional burden of their diagnosis. They might be at a loss to know how they can possibly fulfill their obligations to their children or to others who depend on them. What will happen in their intimate relationships? What are the potential impacts on their sexuality and ability to connect intimately with others? How do other young women navigate all aspects of their busy, vibrant lives after a breast cancer diagnosis? How do they cope with changes to their bodies and deal with body image? The questions are endless, but chances are these young women have found few places to turn to for inspiration, answers, emotional support, and health and wellness resources. iRise Above’s initiatives and services help fill those gaps.
WHAT MAKE iRISE ABOVE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BREAST CANCER FOUNDATIONS?
Our offerings are unique, unparalleled, targeted and urgently needed among the young female breast cancer community. At our core, iRise Above believes in changing perceptions and challenging old paradigms of what it means to have breast cancer. We strive for outstanding quality of life, empowerment and inspirational support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. The iRise Above Wellness Collective of expert advisors surround young women with targeted, age-appropriate, and connected health and wellness resources to enable them to rise above the residual effects of breast cancer, complete a life-changing mind-body-spirit expedition, and enjoy long-term survival. Our iRise Above community consists of young women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50 and our Wellness Collective of experts who have come together to help them thrive in mind, body and spirit through a fully funded program.
The women we support close one chapter in their lives and open another equipped with an amazing toolbox for healthier living that will ultimately improve their long-term survival and quality of life. I encourage each woman to do the thing she thinks she cannot do and challenge her not to worry about failures, but worry about the chances she may miss when she doesn’t even try! The young women we serve ultimately come away from their transformation iJourney experience feeling inspired and empowered over their own health and wellness, despite having breast cancer.
In 2018, iRise Above ventured to the South Island of New Zealand, Rarotonga, and Southern Patagonia to cultivate strategic partnerships and finalize plans for our 2019 expeditions. In 2019, as the finale to their 6-month transformational iJourney, intimate groups of young women, all connected by - and rising above - breast cancer, will set forth on one iRise Above expedition of their choice. Each iRise Above expedition is uniquely designed for a true mind-body-spirit experience that will incorporate the critical tools learned and practiced over the previous 6 months. In the spring, together we will set forth on expedition to Nepal and the Himalayas for an amazing adventure to Everest Base Camp, accompanied by Active Adventures. In summer we will travel to Tanzania to summit the incredible Mount Kilimanjaro and adventure safari during the great wildebeest migration. Following that we will make our way to the Cook Islands for a healing mind-body-spirit active adventure in, on and around the ocean. Last, but not least, we will travel with Active Adventures to Southern Patagonia to trek through the beautiful breathtaking vistas of Chile and Argentina in November. Moving into 2020 we will begin to target support for some of those often left on the periphery; iRise Above will begin a similar 6-month iJourney program for women with metastatic breast cancer, as well as for the caregivers of the young women whom we support.
iRise Above adventured to Patagonia in November 2018. A group of young women celebrate life in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
RISE ABOVE, GIVE BEYOND
We all rise by lifting others. iRise Above values creating a culture of giving so we decided to start an initiative called Rising Above, Giving Beyond. Our overarching iRise Above philosophy is that intentional giving, whether it’s time, money, or resources, is influential and has a lasting, profound ripple effect, for both the giver and receiver; it builds confidence and a sense of purpose. We started the initiative so that young women participating in the iJourney program could make a positive impact through one of two categories – 1) empowering girls and women, and 2) protecting the environment - in the countries we visit while on expedition. This initiative is a critical component of the healing process of our young women, and the mind-body-spirit expedition experience. iRise Above encourages our young women to be the change they wish to see in the world by making a positive, lasting impact.
Though iRise Above has made great strides, the need is urgent and there is so much more to be done. Please consider a GENEROUS DONATION to the iRise Above Foundation today so we may continue the important work of supporting the health and wellness of young women with breast cancer so that they may thrive in good health, possibilities and fulfillment.