Get Involved

Until a Cure is Found… We Need Your Help!

Thank you for your interest in supporting the mission and vision of Breast Friends. We are growing and one of our long term goals is to have a presence across all fifty states. This will allow us to expand support to even more women who are going through treatment for breast and other women’s cancers. Providing information and advice to friends and families can only be fulfilled through the generous contributions of like-minded individuals. A monetary donation is one major way to help, but there are other ways to support Breast Friend. While we all hope and pray for a cure in our lifetime, you can rest assured that until there is a cure, Breast Friends will be here offering loving support during one of the most critical times in the life of a cancer patient. If you would like to join us in our efforts to emotionally support women with cancer, here are a few things you can do to help.

Please feel free to explore the options presented below. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Volunteer Opportunities

 

“We can’t do what we do without you.”

Thank you for all your dedication and hard work!

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

We are looking for passionate people to help Breast Friends throughout the year. Whether you are looking to volunteer in our office, at our events or hospital outreach there are many opportunities for you.

General Volunteer Opportunities:

If you are interested in volunteering in other ways than events, please fill out and submit the appropriate state volunteer form:

Volunteer – Oregon
Volunteer – Florida
Volunteer – Pennsylvania

Event Volunteer Opportunities:

OREGON EVENTS:

Joy of Life Gala – Spring
Joy of Life Golf Tournament – July
Survivor Luncheon – October
Open House – November

FLORIDA EVENTS:

Survivor Luncheon – March
Escorted Motorcycle Ride – October

PENNSYLVANIA EVENTS:

Joy of Life Annual Breast Friends and Family Picnic – July
Breast Friends of Pennsylvania 5K Walk/Run – October

Internship Opportunities

Interns will be working with the Event Coordinator, an educator with over 10 years experience working with college interns who enjoys helping interns match their skill development to their passions, make key community connections, and offer meaningful service to our community.

Videographer Intern: morning of October 1, 2016, plus editing time. Product = edited video of educational session(s). There are two sets of three concurrent sessions. Other events available: state your availability and interests in your application.

Events Intern: working with Breast Friends’ Event Coordinator, produce Breast Friends events, including large fundraisers, small fundraisers, and educational events. In your application, ask about internships focused on event coordination, patient outreach, auctions, the medical provider community, corporate networking, and golf.  Internship focus to be determined by Event Coordinator, Intern, and time of year. Schedule: 5-20 hours/ week over a term, renewable with approval.

Marketing Intern: working with Breast Friends’ Event Coordinator, market Breast Friends: create marketing materials, produce quality photographs, build social media presence and reach, write blogs and personal interest articles, and establish media contacts. In your application, ask about internships focused on social media, journalism for publication, graphic design, or corporate networking. Internship focus to be determined by Event Coordinator, Intern, and time of year. Schedule: 5-20 hours/ week over a term, renewable with approval.

Internship Position Descriptions:

Videographer (pdf)

You provide the video, we provide the content

Seeking videographers to film and edit into webinars all six of our educational sessions at Breast Friends’ Survivors and Friends Luncheon, on the morning of Saturday, October 1, 2016. Educational sessions will range from Chair Yoga for Survivors, to Sex After Cancer, to Nutrition for Prevention and Health. Edited video due by November 23, 2016. Other events available: state your availability and interests in your application.

Videographers will need 2+ cameras per session so they can capture the speaker and the audience, then edit together for a smooth educational video. For the panel, more cameras may be needed in order to capture the multiple speakers. Intern will bring all videography equipment and be prepared to edit the video offsite into a finished product. We will offer polished videos on our website as a free resource for women going through cancer, as well as for their caregivers.

This would be a fantastic project for students with some experience who are looking for a meaningful portfolio project that will offer an important community resource. Ideally, one university department or student would coordinate all the videography, but we are open to coordinating with different locations for quality work. Interns do not have to come from a particular department, but we would prefer them to have both video experience and previous editing projects under their belt, as well as the ability to complete editing and deliver a finished product on deadline. Credit would need to be arranged with your university department – we will corroborate your work and sign off on your hours once the project is complete.

To apply for this volunteer project, please email as PDFs to events@breastfriends.org: your resume with references and links to previous video projects, and a brief cover letter about why you would like to work on this project with Breast Friends. Call (503) 598-8048 for more information (after you read our website).  Thank you in advance for your enthusiasm, organization, and professionalism.

Events (pdf)

Events Internship Position Description 2016

Working with Breast Friends’ Event Coordinator, the Events Intern will help produce Breast Friends events, including large fundraisers, small fundraisers, and educational events. Internship focus to be determined by Event Coordinator, Intern and time of year. Schedule: 5-20 hours/ week over a term, renewable with approval. In your application, ask about internships focused on event coordination, patient outreach, auctions, the medical provider community, corporate networking, and golf.

Requirements:

  • Enthusiastic about Breast Friends’ mission and programs
  • Available during the day at least 5-12 hours per week between 6:30am-2:30pm M-F to come to our Tigard office so you can work directly with the Event Coordinator. (i.e., there is schedule flexibility, but we’ll need face-to-face time within those hours.)
  • Organized and reliable
  • Positive and professional communicator.
  • Computer-savvy. Able to access and produce documents in MS Office.  Able to use google calendar and google docs, online calendars, social media and/or be willing to learn quickly.
  • Active learner: note-taking listener, complete assignments by or before due dates, ask questions, ask for learning resources as needed if I don’t think of them first, read outside your internship time for best results.
  • Research and report skills: able to research and draft a report quickly on a given subject.
  • Be a compassionate, positive, warm part of our team while you are with us.

Preferred:

  • Once you’re up to speed, be able to network and make connections for Breast Friends in the community
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Graphic design skills
  • Active in social media

To apply for this internship, please email as PDFs to events@breastfriends.org: your resume with descriptions of past events experience and three references, and a brief cover letter about why you would like to work on this project with Breast Friends. Call (503) 598-8048 for more information (after you read our website). Thank you in advance for your enthusiasm, organization, and professionalism.

Marketing (pdf)

Marketing Internship Position Description 2016

Working with Breast Friends’ Event Coordinator, the Marketing Intern will create marketing materials, produce quality photographs, build social media presence and reach, write blogs and personal interest articles, and establish media contacts. Internship focus to be determined by Event Coordinator and Intern. Schedule: 5-20 hours/ week over a term, renewable with approval. In your application, ask about internships focused on social media, journalism for publication, graphic design, or corporate networking.

Requirements:

  • Enthusiastic about Breast Friends’ mission and programs
  • Available during the day at least 3 hours per week between 6:30am-2:30pm M-F to come to our Tigard office so you can work directly with the Event Coordinator. (i.e., there is schedule flexibility, but we’ll need face-to-face time within those hours.)
  • Excellent writing skills, positive response to editing.
  • Organized and reliable
  • Positive and professional communicator.
  • Computer-savvy. Able to access and produce documents in MS Office.  Able to use google calendar and google docs, online calendars, social media and/or be willing to learn quickly.
  • Active learner: note-taking listener, complete assignments by or before due dates, ask questions, ask for learning resources as needed if I don’t think of them first, read outside your internship time for best results.
  • Be a compassionate, positive, warm part of our team while you are with us.

Preferred:

  • Graphic design skills
  • Active in social media

To apply for this internship, please email as PDFs to events@breastfriends.org: your resume with descriptions of past marketing experience and 3 references, and a brief cover letter about why you would like to work on this project with Breast Friends. Call (503) 598-8048 for more information (after you read our website). Thank you in advance for your enthusiasm, organization, and professionalism.

Donate

Breast Friends relies on donations and volunteers to support the women we serve. There are many ways you can help Breast Friends accomplish its mission of helping women survive the trauma of cancer.  Some people are blessed with financial resources that enable them to provide revenue to help fund projects to help others. If you are able to support Breast Friends with a financial contribution, it would be truly appreciated.

Share Your Story

There are thousands of us in Portland. We are 28, 45, 74, and every age in between. We are single, married, and divorced. We are daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, and grandmothers. At different times (and sometimes all at once), we are scared, but grateful; overwhelmed, but assertive; vulnerable, but tenacious; unsure, but hopeful.

We are breast cancer survivors.

You may know us without really knowing our story, but our stories are meant to be told. To share them helps us move forward with our own healing and inspires others to do the same. Of course, no story is without moments of darkness, fear, pain, and loneliness. But what shines through is the light, laughter, joy, and triumph.

Consider these stories like the squares of a quilt. Sewn together, they reveal a pattern that not only enriches our lives with beauty, but also warms and comforts us.

Hanni’s story

Perhaps what you notice first about Hannelore (Hanni) Borgens is her charming accent. While she’s lived in the United States since 1987, Hanni was born in Germany in 1957. Much of her family, including her 88-year-old mom, still resides there.

Hanni was quite young the first time cancer impacted her family. Her grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 57, when Hanni was just 8 years old. Years later, her cousin died of breahannist cancer at the age of 38. In addition, Hanni’s father had prostate cancer and her uncle had bladder cancer. The prevalence of cancer in Hanni’s family resulted in a heightened awareness and a commitment to screening and vigilance.

Hanni had her first mammogram at age 25, which revealed a walnut-sized lump in her milk ducts. She was whisked into emergency surgery, where the lump was removed and, thankfully, found to be benign. Yearly mammograms followed, and each time, Hanni was relieved when the findings were negative.

“All my life, I said, ‘My gosh, I hope I don’t get it.’ The fear was there every time I had my annual mammogram,” Hanni explained.

But the findings of her June 2014 mammogram were troubling. When Hanni’s radiologist gave her several options, including waiting six months, Hanni quickly replied, “I don’t have time to wait six months with my history.” Soon after, she had a 3D mammogram, several biopsies, and finally a surgery that led to a diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), meaning the cancer had not left the milk ducts. Clean margins were not achieved with her first surgery or her second. At that point, Hanni changed doctors. Her new doctor did genetic testing, which came back negative, and then ordered a special breast MRI. A medical board reviewed Hanni’s MRI, finding it “inconclusive.” Hanni and her surgeon agreed a double mastectomy was the best next step, given her family history. And it turned out to be the right decision, with additional DCIS found in her opposite breast, which never showed up on the MRI.

Hanni’s recovery from the double mastectomy wasn’t easy, but her husband of 34 years and her adult daughter took turns staying home from work to help her. “They were behind me 100%,” said Hanni. “But, of course, it was traumatic for them, too.” Hanni made the difficult choice not to tell her 88-year-old mom, who still lives in Germany and “worries constantly about me.”

Fortunately, Hanni did not need chemotherapy or radiation, so a few months after her mastectomy, she had her tissue expanders replaced with implants during reconstructive surgery. She still struggles with nerve pain and keyloiding (overgrowth of scar tissue), but maintains a positive attitude and doesn’t second-guess herself.

“I am a person who is very positive,” Hanni said. “Of course there are moments when I think, ‘Why me, why me, why me?’ but I know whining doesn’t help me. You wish you could stop it, but you can’t. You just have to make the best of it.”

Among other things, Zumba helped her get through.

“I like music and dancing, but it’s like another world when you do Zumba. I needed it for my soul,” she explained. Hanni made an effort to return to Zumba as soon as she could following her surgeries.

She also loves to laugh and maintains a good sense of humor.

“The other day, I said to my daughter, ‘I should go swimming. I’ve got my own floatation devices!’” Hanni laughed.

Attending a Breast Friends’ monthly support group in Gladstone* has proved very helpful as well.

“We have such a nice group. We have fun, but there’s also times when people fall apart, and we lift them up,” Hanni explained. “But we don’t just talk about cancer all the time. We talk about other things, and I think that’s very important.”

Hanni, meanwhile, continues to be who she’s always been: a creative spirit and animal lover. She makes cloth dolls (“I’m addicted to fabric!”), cooks, knits, rescues feral cats, and enjoys British TV. And she celebrates getting older, while trying to set fear aside.

“Honestly, there are moments when I say, ‘I hope I don’t get more (cancer)’ but most of the time, I just live my life. I have to. If that fear takes over, you’re doomed,” Hanni cautioned. “I still want to live 50 more years. I’m not ready to go anywhere. My husband’s aunt just died at 101. I want to be her!” smiled Hanni.

Hanni’s advice:
•    Life goes on. “Your life is never going to be the same, but you have to make it yours and deal and cope with it as much as you can.”
•    Get second (and third!) opinions and advocate for yourself. “Do not settle if you’re not satisfied. It’s your life, it’s your treatment.”
•    Get support; don’t go through it alone**
•    Surround yourself with positive people
•    Continue with your hobbies as much as you can (“Just take baby steps. You don’t have to leap.”)
•    Not every day is going to be the same. (“There’s good days, there’s bad days, there’s worse days, and then there’s REALLY good days.”)

Hanni’s motto:
•    “It’s all good.”

*Breast Friends offers several monthly support groups. The one Hanni attends meets the third Thursday of each month at the SHOC Foundation, 18575 Portland Ave, Gladstone, OR 97027. For a listing of additional groups, visit: Oregon Support Groups

**Breast Friends ensures that no woman goes through cancer alone. We are a unique resource for women, their family, friends, co-workers and the community to minimize the fear and isolation of cancer. For over a decade, our programs have empowered thousands with emotional support and hope. We are survivors and professionals helping others celebrate the joy of life. Call us at (503) 598-8048 or (888) 386-8048 (toll free).

If you have a story you would like to share, please go to: My Story….
If you would like to see what other survivors have to say, please go to: Survivor Stories…