Stretch Heal Grow
Stretch Heal Grow is a retreat for young women with breast cancer led by Rethink Breast Cancer.
Since it was founded in 2013 by Jasmin Fiore Dodge, it has focused on yoga and wellness for those navigating breast cancer throughout several days of connection, healing and growing.
If you’re familiar with Rethink, you’ll know support and healing are at the centre of everything we do. It comes first, and so it’s our first priority. We have heard over Rethink’s 20+ years how isolating a breast cancer diagnosis often is, especially when you’re a younger person.
Our goal with Stretch Heal Grow is to provide people in the community an opportunity to connect with others who get what they’re going through, reconnect with themselves through nature, and experience a transformational few days.
Our last retreat was in 2019, with the pandemic unfortunately forcing us to push the pause button on this offering. We are so excited to be bringing it back this year and for you to experience it. With all you’ve been through with breast cancer, you deserve a place to Stretch, Heal and Grow.
2023 Retreat Application
Applications are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied! Those who are selected for our retreat in June will be notified between April 26-28. Everyone who applied will hear back either way by May 10.
Details + FAQ
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
Our agenda for our time together is still being finalized! It will be similar to past SHG retreats, which looks something like:
• Daily yoga classes
• Daily meditation sessions
• Daily nature connection and forest bathing
• Hiking, swimming, kayaking (weather permitting)
• Community-building activities
• Nourishing meals prepared onsite by a chef
• Educational workshops led by social workers
• A little bit of free time (to connect with others or yourself)
• Most importantly, a community of love and connection
Flesherton, Ontario at Silver Springs Retreat
Sunday June 4th, 2023 at 3pm – Wednesday June 7th at 12pm.
The application deadline is Sunday, April 16th, 2023.
IS THIS RETREAT FOR ME?
If the below resonates with you and your experience, yes!
• Young women (45 and under) with breast cancer who have completed active treatment for early-stage breast cancer or are in ongoing treatment for metastatic breast cancer and feeling well enough to attend — no matter your stage or your subtype, you are welcome here!
• We ask that all attendees be able to participate in gentle yoga, meditation, outdoor nature-based activities and group work
• Someone who has not previously attended a Stretch Heal Grow retreat before
• We ask that attendees be mindful that everyone’s experience with breast cancer is unique. As noted above, some present will be those who have finished active treatment for early-stage breast cancer, while others will be in ongoing treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Lived experiences are similar in many ways, but are also very unique and individualized. Rethink’s goal is to unite, help bridge connection and foster support for all stages.
WHAT ARE THE ASSOCIATED COSTS?
The cost of the retreat (programming, accommodations, and food) will be covered by Rethink Breast Cancer. Attendees will be responsible for travel cost to-and-from the retreat location. Out-of-province attendees will be responsible for their own healthcare, if required. Please note that the rooms for this retreat will be shared accommodations with individual beds.
CAN I ATTEND IF I’M NOT LOCATED IN CANADA?
Yes, you may! However, travel costs to-and-from the retreat location and healthcare (if required) will be your responsibility.
HOW MANY SPOTS ARE THERE?
Please note that space is limited. There are 16 spots for this Stretch Heal Grow retreat.
IF I’VE ATTENDED BEFORE, CAN I ATTEND AGAIN?
Unfortunately, we have limited spaces available. We give priority to women who have not attended a SHG retreat before to share the experience with others in the breast cancer community who are in need of something like this. We hope to host more offerings in the future where there is no capacity limit!
HOW ARE ATTENDEES SELECTED?
In being transparent about our selection criteria and process, we want to share that there are multiple qualifying factors that go into applicant selection, such as:
• First-come, first-served
• Being a woman who is 45 years old or under with breast cancer and feeling well enough to attend
• Being able to participate in gentle yoga, meditation, outdoor nature-based activities and group work
• Those who have not previously attended a Stretch Heal Grow retreat
• Prioritizing space for those historically underserved due to their race and culture: Black, Indigenous, People of Colour
SIGN ME UP!
Submit your application to SHG 2023 here!
A quote from a past SHG participant
“Stretch Heal Grow was life changing for me. I found an instant community that got it. They knew exactly what I was going through and for the first time since I was diagnosed, all my fears and anxieties were suddenly understood and often without words. I felt seen and heard. A breast cancer diagnosis at a young age can be so confusing and isolating. Your family and friends are helpful during it, but they don’t always get it. It is wonderful to be surrounded by people who do and who can relate to all the worries and concerns that you’re faced with as you navigate the diagnosis and treatment. Years later, I still think about this retreat often and pull strength from it to help me through the difficult days as you try to live in a new normal. I recommend taking time for self-care and self-reflection – it is remarkable what it can do for your body, soul, and mind.” – Aly, 2013 SHG Participant
A note of acknowledgement on the traditional practices shared through SHG
Stretch Heal Grow began as a retreat founded in the practice of yoga, including meditation, which is an ancient and traditional Indian healing system that is known to have transformational impacts on a person’s mind, body and spirit. We honour the roots of this sacred traditional healing practice and are grateful for those who have shared it with us so we can now learn it, practice it and live better lives. This is remembered within us as we gather at Stretch Heal Grow.
Want to stay in the loop on upcoming events and community gatherings? Be the first to know by signing up for the Rethink Network and our emails.
Stretch Heal Grow was the brain child of Jasmin Fiore Dodge, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. At the time, her youngest daughter was only 7 months old. She found a lump while was breastfeeding and went to get it checked out. Jasmin seriously thought it was just a blocked milk duct, turns out it wasn’t.
She went through several months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, radiation and reconstruction surgery. During treatment, she lost her mother who had been fighting cancer herself for over a decade. It was the most difficult, heart breaking year of her life, but also a time of so much support, love and personal growth.
Then in November 2013, she was put to the test again as the cancer metastasized to her bones and caused problems with her spine. She had emergency spinal surgery and radiation to try and stabilize her body. Cancer had messed with the wrong girl!
Jasmin wanted to share with others how she remained positive and vibrant despite her challenges. She decided she could help others through this difficult and life changing journey. It was important to her to be of service and truly make a difference – and that is how STRETCH HEAL GROW came to be.
Living with breast cancer is unique to each individual and Jasmin believed self-care was a key aspect of navigating through it all.
In February 2017, Jasmin passed away of metastatic breast cancer but not without leaving behind her legacy of Stretch Heal Grow. The retreat will continue to create a community for women coping with cancer that will nurture their soul and heal their spirit, and Jasmin’s memory will continue to light the way.
*Cover photo by Alicia Thurston Photography
Each year we curate thoughtful gift bags for each of the attendees to help them both ground in the space at the retreat and also integrate their experience when they transition back home. We aim to work with Canadian businesses who are aligned in the values of sustainability, intention, authenticity, equity.