A Bittersweet Goodbye

Photo by Alicia Thurston Photography

“Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional.”

– Patti Smith

After almost a decade at Rethink Breast Cancer, it is time for me to say goodbye. Full disclosure: I am not someone who does goodbyes well. They make me feel sad and uncomfortable.  It is a combination of the fear of change mixed with the discomfort of letting go of something or someone that I care about. Rethink is a hard one for me.

People often ask me what kept me at Rethink for so long. The force of being part of a movement of change sparked my inner activist and thanks to MJ’s passion and audacious vision, I liked the way we always tried to tell a different version of the story and our rebellious spirit in “rethinking” cancer support, education and advocacy.

There were also the opportunities to travel the world and speak on behalf of Rethink about the change we were making for young women and the work we were doing to rethink breast cancer – I travelled to Ireland, Lisbon, London, NYC, Chicago, San Antonio, Atlanta, Denver, Washington, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, PEI, Halifax, Regina, Winnipeg, Muskoka, St. John’s, Banff and the most beautiful place on earth Emerald Lake, BC. Can someone say, DREAM JOB?!

Then there is the team – the beating heart of Rethink. SO many inspiring and influential women (and an Allen) past and present who oozed with creativity, compassion, love and brilliance. I learned that you are only ever as powerful as the team you work with and you need to work collaboratively to make awesome stuff happen – which we did.

But it was the incredibly tenacious, fearless and authentic volunteers, women with breast cancer and their caregivers who are the soul of this organization and ultimately inspired my calling to clinical work. I wish I could name every one of you who touched my heart, taught me about vulnerability, fear, perseverance, community, connection and love. So much love for your families, for your friends, for your communities, for yourselves, even in your darkest moments. I couldn’t imagine better teachers and mentors then all of you and I will forever be indebted to your transformational lessons and teachings on my pathway to becoming a psychotherapist.

In your light, I have always shone the brightest and I want to thank you for that. I know that the loving community you have all built for one another will continue to grow, and women who continue to seek out Rethink will be in the most caring of hands.

Shawna Ginsberg

Thank you for everything Rethink,

Shawna, XO

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Systemic Breast Cancer Treatments on the Horizon
50 Carroll Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 3G3
Phone: 416 220 0700
Registered Charity #: 892176116RR0001

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