BIG OR SMALL SAVE THEM ALL – I wear that on a t-shirt and I do not take that message lightly. At age 43, I lost one breast to breast cancer and my drive and passion is to help and empower women who have also suffered this life-altering disease. I am honoured to be an employee of the YWCA Hamilton with their strong commitment to the health and wellness of all women, and ambassadors at reaching out to women with breast cancer. The YWCA Hamilton offers the ywcaencore program, a free after breast cancer exercise program for all women. This program runs three times a year, once a week for eight weeks. The program offers gentle therapeutic exercises on land and in the water to help women build strength and increase flexibility and mobility. The setting is fun and supportive and provides a safe environment for sharing and building lasting friendships. In addition, throughout the eight weeks, women are educated and empowered through relevant discussions and community speakers.
We have been privileged to share in the lives of over 130 women and we honour them this month. They have shown great courage in the face of fear; strength when the body was weary; compassion even in the midst of their own crisis and a spirit that is inspiring beyond words. With these women as inspiration, we are presenting you this month with various stories from women who have been through breast cancer and have been impacted through the ywcaencore program. They share their stories, their hearts and their lessons.
May their messages be heard by women everywhere and may it ignite a fire in you as it has in me, to continue this fight against breast cancer and to never give up.
Anne Marie Collingwood