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Breast cancer retreat builds support network - Aug. 22, 2013

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
It’s a retreat for women diagnosed with breast cancer, but there will be no talk of cancer Sept. 7 at the Ganong Nature Park.
Instead, the retreat, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be a day to learn about living well, says Fern Hicks, a member of the board of the New Brunswick Breast Cancer Network, which has sponsored the day with aid from the Halifax-based Atlantic Chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Deadline for registration is Aug. 30. There is a $10 fee which covers the cost of lunch and snacks and participants can register at nbbcn.org or by calling Shirley Johnson at 466-2818.
“This is a day for anyone diagnosed with breast cancer, yesterday, 50 years ago, or who is still waiting for results of tests,” said Hicks.
“This is not a day we talk about cancer. We happen to get together because we all have been diagnosed with cancer.
“This is a day all about learning how to live well, to talk and do nutrition, exercise, outdoor things, creative things. It’s all about who we are as people, instead of all about our disease.
“We get enough talk about the disease from professionals who take very good care of us. But this is for the other part of you that doesn’t qualify for chemo or radiation; your mind, body and spirit.
Hicks said in past retreats the women “tend to have a lot of fun, meet, get to know one another, build relationships.”
Local speakers will make presentations said Hicks. The idea behind having local individuals participate in that manner is so that relationships initiated during the retreat can grow afterwards.
“That way people can continue to have contact with the presenters.”
Hicks designs and creates a theme for the retreats, five of which will be held throughout the province this year.
The theme for 2013 is “Minutes count and moments matter.”
Besides the funding from the breast cancer foundation, part of the funding to host the retreat comes from the money raised locally during the annual Run For The Cure.

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca