WE ARE THE YOUNG WOMEN’S BREAST CANCER MOVEMENT.
Rethink Breast Cancer’s mission is to empower young people worldwide who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer through innovative education, support and advocacy.
Rethink is the first ever Canadian charity to bring bold, relevant awareness to the 40s and under crowd; foster a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters; infuse sass and style into the cause; and, most importantly, respond to the unique needs of young women going through it.
By taking a breakthrough approach to all aspects of breast cancer – education, resources, advocacy,
community engagement, and fundraising – Rethink is thinking differently about breast cancer.
Why We Rethink
For many young women who are busy building their careers and families, breast health may not exactly be top of mind. We strive to dispel the myth that breast cancer is strictly an “old lady disease,” while taking some of the fear out of the conversation to bring breast health awareness to the forefront. Those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may experience isolation as well as challenges with dating, sexuality, fertility, childcare, finances, employment and more.
Treatment and care issues include delays in diagnosis, generally more advanced cancers at diagnosis and higher mortality rates, low participation in clinical trials, lack of age-appropriate care, concerns around social support during cancer treatment, as well as late effects of treatment, second cancers and long-term psychosocial issues. Rethink offers age-appropriate support and resources for young women with breast cancer to make their journey a little bit easier.
What We Do
Rethink Breast Cancer supports the unique needs of young women concerned about and living with breast cancer.
Every day we seek creative new ways to support young women with breast cancer, while boldly engaging young people with the cause. Our education, resources, and advocacy initiatives are as cutting-edge as the minds behind them and as unique as the people we reach with them. No project or campaign is too big, small or unorthodox for our team to take on as long as it fills a gap for young people concerned about or affected by breast cancer.
The Rethink Story
At 22, after losing her mother to breast cancer, MJ DeCoteau was hard-pressed to find relevant information that wasn’t scary and overwhelming about her own risk factors.
Determined but frustrated, she quickly began to understand why so many smart, young people were in the dark about breast cancer. Like her, they simply weren’t being targeted. This realization was DeCoteau’s call to action. By 2001, she had brought together a dream team of Canada’s most innovative, energetic and creative minds to found Rethink Breast Cancer, putting young people concerned about and affected by the disease on the map, for the very first time.
With a mandate to always seek creative ways to engage young people with the cause and help young women going through it, DeCoteau helped take Rethink from ground zero to 100 in year one when the charity secured the exclusive Canadian rights to the world famous Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign.
Approaching breast cancer with style was the new M.O., with Rethink leading the way. By 2004, DeCoteau was featured in Maclean’s Magazine’s Honour Roll as one of the top 10 Canadians making a difference.
Since then, Rethink’s small but dynamic team of dedicated staff and volunteers have continued to pave the way for the young women’s breast cancer movement, creating ground-breaking new resources, campaigns, events, and advocacy initiatives to bring much needed support and attention to the cause.