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Mission Moment | EmpowHER Day Retreat


“Prior to the retreat, I used to describe my breast cancer journey as treading water alone... At the retreat, I was given the opportunity to be surrounded by others in the same pool.” - Jennifer

 

Photo of Susan standing in front of a field of flowers

Carolina Breast Friends hosted its inaugural EmpowHER Day Retreat on May 11 at Jubilee Farms in Chester, SC. With the theme "Ease Your Energy," this first-time retreat was tailored to support and empower young breast cancer Survivors and Thrivers, aged 45 and under, who had been diagnosed within the last five years.


Nestled amidst the beautiful surroundings of Jubilee Farms, the retreat provided a tranquil setting for reflection and rejuvenation. Jubilee Farms is dedicated to providing a serene and nurturing environment for individuals seeking relaxation and healing. A perfect setting.


The day began with a session led by Lori Ives-Godwin, a respected wellness coach and HeartMath trainer from Asheville, NC. HeartMath is a scientifically validated system that uses practical techniques and biofeedback technology to help manage stress and improve emotional resilience, which is particularly helpful to breast cancer Survivors & Thrivers. Terrie Reeves, CBF Board President and the founder of Empower Health America, then facilitated a sound bath and meditation experience, using chimes, gongs and singing bowls to promote deep relaxation and emotional healing.


After lunch, where everyone had a chance to connect and share their experiences, some of the participants continued their exploration of HeartMath practices, while another group engaged in equestrian therapy, experiencing the unique therapeutic benefits of interacting with mini ponies and horses.


Empowered by the retreat experience and supported by peers, mentors and insightful facilitators, each participant left Jubilee Farms with a renewed sense of strength and resilience.


Ashly Dollar, Carolina Breast Friends’ Director of Programming and Volunteers, reflects on the day's success, sharing, "The retreat provided a meaningful and enriching experience for everyone involved. It was clear how transformative and empowering it was.”


Just ask Jennifer Hartsfield, who was one of the 22 Survivors and Thrivers who participated that day. She explains, “Prior to the retreat, I used to describe my breast cancer journey as treading water alone. Friends and family would come around and shout words of encouragement and throw out whatever life rafts they could to try to help me, but I still felt very alone. At the retreat, I was given the opportunity to be surrounded by others in the same pool. It really gave me hope and energized me… I cannot say enough thanks.”


 

Special thanks to Bosom Buddies Charities, who sponsored the retreat so that we could offer it free of charge. Bosom Buddies was started in 2005 by Donna Branham and a group of tennis enthusiasts who hold a tennis clinic each year to raise funds for breast cancer awareness programs and the breast cancer community in Charlotte.

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