Nutrition, fitness and healthy lifestyle options designed exclusively for breast cancer survivors will be featured at a free half-day event on Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m.-noon, at the UTC University Center. Presented by Breast Cancer Support Services (formerly Y-ME Chattanooga) and sponsored by Mary Ellen Locher Breast Center of Memorial Health Care System, Moving On after Breast Cancer: Mind, Body & Soul will highlight ways to achieve optimum health and sustain remission. New guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society emphasize the importance of healthy eating and exercising as ways to help prevent recurrence of breast cancer.
Stress reduction and mind body skills will be featured by Rhonda Edwards, licensed clinical social worker, at Memorial’s Center for Cancer Support. Nutritionist Pamela Kelle, known as The Chattanooga Food Coach, will highlight the event with a powerful presentation Beautiful You from the Inside Out: Nutrition Matters. Fitness options will also be offered. Participants are encouraged to dress comfortably for a relaxing format that will feature Pilates, Nia (formerly non-impact aerobics), Zumba™ and Tai Chi.
To register for the free event that includes a free light, nutritious lunch, simply email your name, address and phone number to email@example.com or call 629-2445.
Moving On is not just the name of the nonprofit’s upcoming seminar, this year the entire organization decided to move on literally. Y-ME Chattanooga is now Breast Cancer Support Services. Formerly an affiliate of the Chicago-based Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Chattanooga’s oldest breast cancer organization is now headquartered in its own hometown.
Breast Cancer Support Services is now officially a locally-directed, nonprofit entity with IRS 501c3 status. Y-ME National continues to promote local breast cancer organizations on its website, but has chosen to focus on its national breast cancer hotline.
This amicable transition after a nearly 20-year affiliation effectively works to best utilize the strengths of each organization for breast cancer patients and survivors. Nationally, Y-ME provides immediate emotional relief by phone on the country’s only toll-free 24-hour hotline staffed exclusively by breast cancer survivors at 800 221-2141. Locally, Breast Cancer Support Services provides a hands-on approach by interacting face-to-face with Chattanooga area breast cancer survivors and their families. The organization provides support groups, a therapy group for women with advanced and metastatic breast cancer, a bra, wig and prosthesis bank, and emergency financial assistance for low-income families. The Emergency Fund is made possible in part by the Hurlbut Memorial Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.
The Chattanooga organization’s board members have embraced the challenge head-on to branch out on their own and now make all decisions locally on core areas of emergency funding and patient support.
“Our mission remains the same—to provide support, services and resources to women and families living with breast cancer. By becoming totally independent and headquartered in our hometown, we believe we can respond even better than before to the needs of women in the Chattanooga area,” said Elaine Hill, who serves on the Breast Cancer Support Services board of directors. A breast cancer survivor herself, Mrs. Hill co-founded Y-ME Chattanooga in 1992 with her friend Martha Lee, in Mrs. Hill’s Signal Mountain basement.
Since 1992, funded by grants and donations, the nonprofit has provided hundreds of Chattanooga area residents living with breast cancer with education and services. In support groups, women can express themselves in nurturing and safe environments, while listening to others who have been there before and shared the same diagnosis. In addition, the organization has helped hundreds of low-income women in our area with emergency financial assistance to offset living expenses, such as rent and utilities, while they undergo breast cancer treatment. Support services for low-income women also include a bra, prosthesis and wig bank.
The name isn’t the only thing new at Breast Cancer Support Services. The organization kicked off 2012 with a new logo and a new executive director, Lisa Shivers. A recent breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Shivers is a local communications professional who previously held positions at the Tennessee Aquarium and National Print Group in Chattanooga. She and her husband Pete live on Signal Mountain.