This week our local metastatic breast cancer community is grieving the loss of two wonderful women, Liz Muscat & Christine Gaidies. While we know that it is important for those living with metastatic cancer to build connection and community, the difficult part is that the community regularly experiences loss. And sometimes multiple losses at once.
Last year, Stretch Heal Grow hosted 12 young women with metastatic cancer along with their caregivers for a weekend of building connection and community so those affected by incurable cancer don’t have to feel so alone. The unique bond formed over this weekend continues a year later, providing strength and understanding through the challenges they must face.
Our heart goes out to Liz and Christine and their loved ones, and also to our Stretch Heal Grow Community.
Christine was a singer a song writer and a person who lived with metastatic cancer for almost a decade. When I spoke to Christine last year who had applied to Stretch Heal Grow, a yoga retreat for young women with breast cancer, she mentioned that although she was pushing 50, she felt it would be good for other young women to see a vital woman living with incurable cancer.
She was right. At the retreat they flocked to her, asking her questions, trying to understand her secret to longevity and hoping that her essence would wear off on them even a little bit. She was vibrant, outspoken, positive and kind.
These qualities also made her an incredible peer volunteer for Rethink’s Peer Support for Young Women with Breast Cancer program for 5 years and most recently an advocate for the work we are doing for the metastatic breast cancer community.
Christine, you will be missed but certainly not forgotten in all of our hearts.
Liz and her husband Joe came to Stretch Heal Grow in 2015 for the metastatic retreat. Both were eager to get involved and make some sense of their new normal. They spoke about their children, about spending time together, being there for each other and their resolve to try and live in the moment.
Liz later became more involved with Rethink and took the time to support our fundraising and education initiatives. She shared her own story in hopes that other young women living with metastatic cancer might not feel so alone and so people understood that there was much more work to be done in breast cancer awareness and advocacy. http://bit.ly/2a7TAhb
Thanks Liz for your open heart and mind.
Details for Liz’s memorial can be found here.