A Holiday Message


Pause. A temporary stop in action or in speech.

What can a pause do? For me, and what I hope for Rethink, a short pause in our social media content and conversations can give us a moment to think, to reflect, to renew in order to come back stronger to serve the community in 2021.

We will continue to be available to those who reach out directly in need of support. We are just going to be pausing our social media feeds.

Why? It’s our organizational self-care. Like many, we’ve been digesting all that has transpired in 2020. We’ve been inspired by the outpouring of equity and equality movements. We’ve been responding to the increased information, support and access to treatment needs that our community has experienced throughout this year. We’ve been navigating the pressures of a COVID economy, which requires us to be more focused and more unique than ever.

And, it’s the eve of Rethink’s 20th anniversary. That’s 20 years of learning from a community of young people concerned about and affected by breast cancer. Now there’s been extra learnings from this year to inform our next steps.

Earlier this summer, this quote by Nikole Hanna-Jones landed in my feed: “If we are truly at the precipice of a transformative moment, the most tragic of outcomes would be that the demand be too timid and the resolution too small.” I’ve held this thought with me throughout the frenzy of fall, especially breast cancer awareness month.

This second wave has been more difficult for many of us than the spring lockdown. The days are short and dark. COVID compassion fatigue feels quite visceral. And while vaccine news brings hope for a return to some kind of normalcy next year, the unlearning and learning of 2020 cannot be forgotten.

The world is brand new and it requires new thinking. Rethinking. And that’s something we’re good at and we’re known for. I know we’ll bring our best problem-solving and creative brains to Rethink after a bit of a pause. And as we pause our social media feeds, we will hold you in our hearts throughout the holiday season.

We feel such gratitude to all of you who are part of our social community, which has become a source of support in itself. We will be available behind the scenes and checking DMs and emails if you need us. And, we will be back here in 2021 with a refreshed framework to educate, empower and advocate to help young people with breast cancer live better and live longer.

Sending holiday hugs and much love, MJ

To read about how to ask for help during the holidays, click here.

MJ DeCoteau, Founder + Executive Director of Rethink Breast Cancer. At 22, after losing her mother to metastatic breast cancer, MJ was hard-pressed to find relevant information that was not scary and overwhelming about her own risk factors. She quickly realized that young people were in the dark about breast cancer simply because they weren’t being targeted by awareness campaigns and other efforts. By 2001, she brought together a group of innovative, energetic, and creative minds to found Rethink Breast Cancer, putting young people concerned about and affected by the disease in the spotlight for the very first time. Today, MJ leads Rethink’s small but dynamic team of staff and volunteers dedicated to creating resources, campaigns, events, research, and advocacy initiatives that help young people live better and live longer.

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