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As a second generation, Staten Island breast cancer survivor with a daughter raised on Staten Island, breast cancer education and support is near and dear to my heart.

I am a breast cancer survivor of 8 years. April 11, 2016 was my 8th year anniversary. My mom was a breast cancer survivor of over 40 years, unfortunately she died last summer. I was in my early 20's and a college student when she was diagnosed. My daughter was only 15 and a high school student when I was diagnosed. I remembered as a young woman how devastating this disease was to me and my family. I watched mom who sufferred from clinical depression spiral deeper into a depression that was absolutely terrifying and wondered if this was the face of breast cancer.

My dad believing he was helping did not allow the Reach to Recovery Volunteers visit mom nor were we allowed to speak about her cancer, her mastectomy or her depression. As a young college student I feared not only would I be diagnosed with breast cancer one day but I too would not be able to navigate the disease, medically or psychologically or have a full recovery.

As a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, especially women's issues, I vowed this would be different for my daughter when I was diagnosed. I had treated many women diagnosed with breast cancer throughout my career but now I had to personalize it. I designed a Mind/Body Program for my own initial recovery and now wish to create a support meetup group for educational, recreational and supportive activities.

Our group organizers are currently redesigning the group to include yoga classes in addition to a monthly meet up group.

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Founded May 4, 2011

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Catherine Putkowski-O'Brien, Georgianna Diaz

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