Editor’s Note: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This Positive Vibes highlights an Oregon woman working to help other women have a few laughs during a tough time.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Deb Hart founded Pink Sistas after she went through a battle with Stage 3 breast cancer. She realized she wanted to provide some levity to women who are survivors or warriors.
So for the past 11 years, she has led retreats and outings to help women in their own cancer battle to have a fun time and connect with other women.
“We do day retreats. We call it day camp,” Hart told KOIN 6 News. “They go home at 3. I teach them how to paddle board, kayak. We go out on this amazing party barge boat.”
The outings, she said, are “really just about having fun after breast cancer or during breast cancer.”
Recently, Weston Kia paid for an upgraded party barge that takes the groups of women in the summer months on the no-cost day retreats on the Columbia River.
Next month, Hart takes her mission to a whole new level — international.
“We’re heading to Guatemala. We have a sponsor and she’s paying for the whole trip,” she said. “There will be 9 of us and we will be teaching breast health in Guatemala City, outside of Guatemala city, also in Antigua.”
Hart said they hope to educate women in rural villages where there may not be medical clinics.
The events back home continue. And next year Pink Sistas will host 30 women in Maui, hoping to bring some light during a very dark time in their lives, regardless of where they are in their journey.
“We don’t care what the diagnosis is,” she said. “Common denominator. the C word, that scary, frightening C word that darkens your door.”