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GIVE-A-CARE

By Rethink Breast Cancer September 20 2016

Rethink is all about educating, empowering and advocating for young women. We connect young women, support their needs, listen to them to identify gaps in care and inspire them to work together, with us, to make changes to improve the lives of other young women. And, we try to do all this in a “Rethink-y” fashion so that support, education and advocacy feels relevant to young women. So that it fits their lives. And fits them.

We are about to launch a new project that I think is quintessential Rethink.

Just over a year ago, we created our 10 Care Guidelines for Young Women with Breast Cancer. Young women have unique needs and our research showed that many young women were finding out about fertility options too late, weren’t informed upfront about the realities of breast reconstruction and weren’t being connected with community resources to help with childcare, finances, relationship challenges in a timely manner. Our hope is that the Care Guidelines will help ensure the needs of young women with breast cancer are addressed in a timely manner no matter where she lives in Canada.

We’ve been presenting the Care Guidelines at big conferences as well as small gatherings of health care teams. Behind the scenes, we are meeting with provincial cancer agencies to seek official support for our Care Guidelines. Ultimately, we would like to see them displayed and implemented in every Cancer Centre and hospital in Canada. Individual oncologists, nurses, surgeons and psychologists are embracing our recommendations but, as you can imagine, any “healthcare systems” change work is slow going. Bureaucracy pace. So, it was time to re-energize our advocacy around this and ramp up a public conversation around our Care Guidelines and the gaps in care for young women. And here’s where the quintessential Rethink part comes in.

On September 21, we will launch the very first product line for young women with breast cancer that actually understands young women with breast cancer: Give-a-Care.

How to you get from “we need to raise public awareness about our Care Guidelines” to launching a 21 item product line? Well, we engaged an incredibly creative and generous agency, LG2, to help us tackle this challenge. They saw it as an opportunity. And, they presented the awesome idea that we loved. Making it happen has been beyond a lot of work for both our teams but it’s been an absolute labour of love for all involved. We can’t wait for you to see it!

The products, all available at giveacare.ca, range from lemon candies to mask the metallic taste of chemo to lube to help those with early menopausal symptoms, a stylish zip-front hoody that’s easy to get on and off after surgery to stomach settling tea to ease nausea, plus a few fun items like conversation hearts and power lipstick thrown in to lift spirits.

It can be hard to know what to do when someone you know gets breast cancer.  Flowers and cards are a nice gesture, but there are more useful gifts that can actually help her get through the hard days ahead. And, the clever way our new products have been named helps educate you about the experience your loved one with cancer is going through. You can purchase one thing for a friend or a few items or put together a whole big care package. Plus, each Give-a-Care package sent will come with a free copy of Rethink Breast Cancer’s Care Guidelines for Young with Breast Cancer – now turned into a booklet full of advice and information on a young patient’s unique needs.

I am super proud of this project because it’s so multifaceted. The collection is about creating awareness, as much offering comfort. By highlighting the unique needs of young women with breast cancer, Give-a-Care, and the accompanying Care Guidelines handbook, will empower young women impacted by breast cancer. And, 100% of the proceeds from the Give-a-Care collection go right back into Rethink’s work to educate, empower and advocate for those concerned about and affected by breast cancer.

Huge thank you to the young women from our network for the advice and input on the product line development!

And a huge thank you to the cool, generous companies that donated products for our collection!

MJ

P.S. What do you think of the branding? I am in love with it!