SRQ Pink Warriors Offer Breast Cancer Support

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Amie Boyle and Christy Cohen threw a surprise farewell boobie shower at Pacific Rim for Gina Montes (center) before her mastectomy surgery. Photo courtesy of Gina Montes.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. While the diagnosis often occurs in middle-aged and older women, younger women are also affected, and some, like local resident Gina Montes, age 42, want those women to know that support is available.

Montes, the mother of two young children, considered herself to be a very healthy woman prior to her diagnosis. “Last year, I was working out probably six times a week, meditating and doing everything I could for mind/body spirit,” she shares. “When I was diagnosed in January, it was pretty much a shocker because it’s not in my family at all. I was, however, grateful for my practice and strength in faith, mind and spirit which was like a practice run for the marathon I was about to enter.” Montes relied heavily on friends who had been diagnosed at young ages and says that if it wasn’t for their support, she would have felt completely lost. She felt it was a blessing to walk the path with others who have been in her shoes and although she knew there were support groups available, she found that the women in them were often much older and unable to relate to some of the issues she was facing as a mother of young children. To address this, Montes, along with two friends have created SRQ Pink Warriors, a breast cancer support group for women of all ages affected by breast cancer, whether they are cancer free now or recently diagnosed. The goals of the group are to empower breast cancer survivors and thrivers, support one another emotionally and spiritually, and to give back to the community through fun events and fundraisers.

“I want to take away the stigma that some women may feel about cancer and reassure them that they haven't lost their feminine side or changed because something bad has happened to them. It's just like anything in life that can challenge us and actually make us stronger and wiser,” Montes says. “When we think about cancer we tend to think of the scary parts. I want to empower survivors to portray strength and courage, not fear.”

SRQ Pink Warriors will have monthly events, with their first event taking place today, June 19 at 5:30pm at Summer Tap Juice Bar on Pineapple Ave. To learn more about SRQ Pink Warriors, reach out to Gina Montes at Gmontes@prmg.net or visit the group’s instagram page.

Pictured: Amie Boyle and Christy Cohen threw a surprise farewell boobie shower at Pacific Rim for Gina Montes (center) before her mastectomy surgery. Photo courtesy of Gina Montes.

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