This conference has been designed for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
The conference will give them tools in Redesigning their lives after cancer.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
Sponsor - Our aim is to sponsor 50 women from Tegenkracht Foundation and Belle and Balance Foundation join the conference. Your donation will help us do that! You have a choice of Reward Levels that you can choose from or you can donate whatever amount.
Join Us - Buy a ticket for yourself or for a friend. Please note that the event is in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
In Redesigning my life after cancer, I have learned a lot from other people. I have brought these people together in this conferenceto share that knowledge with other women diagnosed with breast cancer.
READ MORE ABOUT ME BELOW:
Hi, I am Lana, I consider myself a "life-catcher".
Why LIFE CATCHER?
I am like many who want more out of life amidst the struggles that we encounter. I gained a lot since that fateful day last year. In a blink of an eye, I went from being a wife, mom, sister, entrepreneur, friend to being 1 out of 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer over their lifetime.
And here I am now paying it forward for other life-catchers like me by organizing HUG compassion conference for women diagnosed with breast cancer. and appealing for you to do the same.
What is it about?
Let me first start by sharing my story.
EVERYONE remembers that specific moment when life changes abruptly and irreversibly.
Mine happened a year ago, May 30, 2014 to be exact, when after a few days of keeping it a secret, I blurted it out to my husband.
“I felt a lump in my left breast. I thought it would go away so I waited for days. But it didn’t”
In a flurry of events, we got through one appointment after another. A quick call from our doctor and I got a schedule for a mammogram and biopsy for the same day. A record breaker considering the waiting that happens when one needs to go for a specialist. It was as if the Universe understood the urgency of what was to happen next.
Add another gruesome 10 days of waiting and then finally we got the results. The scene hung to my memory. It was the moment everything changed.
I couldn’t remember the exact medical words that the surgeon told us. All I remember was sobbing on my husband’s chest the minute I heard the word “breast cancer”.
My head reeled and I was transported to more than a decade ago, when at my 20s, I had to care for my mom who was ill. Breast cancer metastesized to her bones. She was 49 when she passed away. 40 when she was diagnosed. I was 37 with two young children aged 5 and 7.
Age wise the Breast Cancer worldwide statistics say I am 1 out of 229 women aged 30-39. My mom was 1 in 68 for women aged 40-49.
Will this be my fate as well?
My emotions tumbled and surged. If only there was a pill to prescribe for the pain I felt inside. Pain caused by losing an illusion – that I have everything under control.
Faced with thoughts of death, I held on to what I believed in – there must be something more in this suffering.
In Viktor Frankl’s book. “ Man’s Search for Meaning”, he wrote
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
So I did. I redesigned my life and went for what Frankl mentioned as man’s deepest desire- for life to have meaning.
Last year, I went through 21 days of radiation, a lumpectomy, a surgery to insert a portable catheter in my arm, 11 sessions of chemotherapy, 21 days in antibiotics to manage an infection, and countless of blood works. I did what I had to do, showed up for my medical appointments and up till now I am still getting treatments.
Looking back on everything that happened, what did I learn out of it?
I learned to be a life catcher. I learned to go after life, and not to be swept by it. Knowing that I had breast cancer made me go into “self-preservation mode” and I became fierce in keeping my terrain both the inside and out to only those that would serve my healing. I got connected with people who taught me to find joy where ever I can take it. Life coaches turned friends who taught me not to define myself with my illness. Writing about my daily experiences in my blog made the struggles real, and it also made me gain perspective of what I value the most - the moments that I have and being present for those that I love. Having breast cancer made me go after life and the many ways that I can live it. I became a “life-catcher.”
My reality is no different from a lot of women. I am but 1 out of 8. Breast cancer has touched not only my life, it continues to affect a lot of families as well.
I am extremely grateful for all the support that I got along the way. Without their help I would not be where I am right now. I knew I had to PAY IT FORWARD. Which is why teaming up with my best friend and life coach, Amber Rahim, we decided to organize www.startwithahug.com for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is where we need your help. By sponsoring a “ life-catcher” to attend the HUG conference, you are giving a woman a chance to learn specific tools from meditation, empathy, visualization and other strategies that they can use as they redesign their life after cancer.
The HUG conference is set on October 24, 2015 in time for Breast Cancer awareness month and we would like to give 50 women from Tegenkracht Foundation the chance to share their life stories and learn tools in dealing with their illness. We would like to provide a gathering where women diagnosed with breast cancer will feel, what we in the Netherlands say as “geborgenheid” – to be enveloped in safety and security in the company of other “ life-catchers”.
Thomas Aquinas said:
“there is within every soul thirst for happiness and meaning”.
I found mine amidst a turbulent period and it is these feelings of happiness and meaning that I would like to share with the women attending the HUG conference.
Help us make it happen.
DonationsSee top donations
- Aimen Verhoef
- Aimen Verhoef
- Timi Stoop-Alcala