Why We Boobyball And Why You Should Too
Photography by Tony Cicero
We’ve all heard of Boobyball. It’s the party of the year with fun themes where you get to dress up and have fun with all your friends. But do you know WHY we Boobyball?
Do you know that we have over 1000 women in our Rethink Young Women Network who have been diagnosed with breast cancer? Or that Rethink just launched a new movement that seeks to rally 10,000 MBC Allies to stand together to help women with MBC live better and longer? These are just some of the reasons that we Boobyball. Read on to see why these Rethinkers do.
Boobyball is an event that brings people together for a great evening and an even better cause in support of Rethink Breast Cancer. For myself, although it’s always an evening that is filled with fun and good friends, it’s so much more.
I Boobyball because I am 34 years old and living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) for over five years now. Rethink has offered support, education and allowed me to advocate for MBC by giving me the opportunity to sit on an MBC Advisory Board. I am thankful for an organization that listens and understands the very unique needs of young women affected by this disease, regardless of stage.
I hope others who come to a Boobyball event recognize the cause behind the party, along with the reality that young women get breast cancer too and, sometimes, we live in a parallel world where our futures hang between disease progression and lifelong treatments, amidst the beautiful normalcy and turmoil of everyday life. We simply try to merge two worlds; one of colour which includes all the beauty of what fuels our souls, and one that is a stark contrast and black and white which involves the never-ending treatments and side effects which continue to keep us in this world. I want more moments with my family and those I love, so I will support an organization that has helped me find community & purpose whilst living with incurable cancer.
Last year was my first year attending and it is so much more than just a ‘big party’. Before I was diagnosed with cancer I had heard of it but never attended. I would see photos on social media and think – wow, that looks amazing. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, I rely on Rethink and their network more than I could have ever imagined. I have met amazing women through the network (especially at the Stretch Heal Grow retreat!) and have learned so much from others facing this disease at such a young age.
Attending Boobyball was a surreal experience for so many reasons. I got to connect with friends I met at the retreat a few months earlier, as a bunch of them live out of town and came in for the evening. But it wasn’t just about seeing my retreat girls again; it was about having a fun night out together. We were able to put aside what we were currently dealing with so we could dress up, dance, take silly photos and laugh together.
It was also amazing to see and feel the support of Toronto. Rebel was packed, and I could feel the energy the minute I got out of the cab. People were there to have a good time, but they were also there to support Rethink and those they know who have been touched by breast cancer.
That’s why Boobyball and fundraising for Rethink is so important to me. This organization has filled a gap by providing resources and advocacy for young patients dealing with breast cancer. As a millennial, it can be easy to think you are invincible and won’t be touched by cancer, but unfortunately, this isn’t always true. And if you or someone you love is diagnosed, it’s a scary time in your life and one where you will be so grateful an organization like Rethink exists.
So what am I doing differently this year to show my support for Boobyball and Rethink? I’ve joined the Boobyball committee!!! I joined a bit late but am grateful that I can lend a hand and help make this the best fundraiser (and PARTY, of course) the city will see.
I am honoured to be the co-chair of Ottawa’s Boobyball in support of Rethink Breast Cancer! I loved being a part of the committee for the last four years and this year–our fifth–promises to be the best ever. From our creative and fun theme to the actual party, it’s such a worthwhile event to attend and support. (Did I mention the awesome gift bags?) Rethink Breast Cancer is an incredible organization, and I love the many ways they support young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
On a personal note, my little sister, and mother of three, was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago at the age of 34. I saw firsthand how supportive Rethink Breast Cancer was and I love how their message is geared towards younger people; often, it’s hard to find support when you’re so young. I’m so happy to be helping Boobyball raise money for Rethink. We can’t wait to see you on the dance floor! What’s better than having a blast with your closest friends–while giving back?
“To me, Boobyball is support and connection. Cancer can be such an isolating experience; even more so when you’re a single young adult, living alone. Coming home after appointments or treatments, to sit in my head alone, was a devastating experience. I didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer when I was first diagnosed, and even though the people close to me were so supportive, they didn’t understand how it felt going through it. I needed to find people who I could reach out to in those times at home alone.
Rethink connected me online to other survivors and thrivers who shared what they have been through, and for the first time I felt that people understood what was going on with me and that I wasn’t alone. Boobyball let me meet some of those people in person, and there was an instant connection and bond! So many of us showed up the first year in Vancouver, all in various stages of treatment. We were able to embrace each other and get out of treatment mode for a night of celebration. It created lasting connections with some powerful and exceptional women, some who have gone on to put together meet ups and events so that we can continue to support each other and heal together.
I’m so excited to re-connect with my fellow breasties in Vancouver at this year’s Boobyball!! No one should have to go through this alone, and Boobyball gives us the space to celebrate those connections that make such a difference with support and healing.
It’s going to be my first Boobyball and I am really looking forward to it. I have already narrowed down my dress selection to three dresses, but it will ultimately be the one that fits better on that day, as I am due for surgery right around the time of Boobyball. One of the most surprising things I’ve discovered going through cancer is that there are incredible support networks available. Rethink Breast Cancer is one those incredible organizations. I have learned a lot from their breast cancer community and have met local women who are going through similar experiences. I only joined Rethink in early July, and I have met amazing women who I suspect I will become lifelong friends with.
Boobyball is an important event to me because it’s a reminder that there is a community of people that have gone through a similar experience as me and my wife, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s an opportunity to connect with others that can relate to this life-changing experience. Aside from it being an absolute fun evening, the event itself has such an uplifting energy. It makes me relieved to know that Emily has a group of friends and a community that she can be a part of.
Boobyball is also an opportunity to see my wife’s hard work and passion come to fruition through her work at Rethink Breast Cancer, which makes me feel incredibly proud and lucky to have such an amazing person by my side. Attending Boobyball reminds me of how much I love my wife and how her story continues to inspire others, along with myself.
Sign up for emails now to make sure you don’t miss the boat on tickets for the next Boobyball!