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11/03

Honored to Amplify: B4BC

“To me, nature has been and always will be medicine,” shares Boarding for Breast Cancer Wellness Director Megan Pischke. Having been diagnosed soon after having her second child, she knows all too well the shock that comes with receiving a breast cancer diagnosis as a young woman. Now that the former professional snowboarder is also a breast cancer survivor, she’s combining her personal experience with her background in holistic wellness to help others.    

Female Fitness Instructor Wearing Vuori Black Jogger Sweatpants

 

Founded in 1996, B4BC has helped over a million young people empower themselves with life-saving knowledge: Self-breast exams, the importance of early detection, and the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. “I was blessed with a lengthy, healthy career in the outdoors, and I know how much being outside means to so many others,” says Megan. Today, she and other members of the community provide nature-based survivor wellness retreats for women who are currently on their journeys through breast cancer, creating an essential space for learning and support. “It started with simply wanting to give back in a way where snowboarding had touched me—in the heart through the outdoors. I’m also a very curious person who has always been on a path of learning—there is so much to know about ourselves and all the modalities that support wellness.” 

Girl Climbing Rock
Guy climbing rock

 

In addition to offering a vital community to women who are in treatment, B4BC has aproven, holistic approach to wellness modalities. During the nature retreats, women receive support in physical activity, nutrition, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Megan’s program combines integrative health treatments with her belief that nature is medicine—an approach shared in the documentary film Chasing Sunshine 

 

For example, participants might receive acupuncture in a group setting, during a sound bath. B4BC Wellness Director Lisa Hudson shares how important the introduction of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been to the community: “To those who haven't heard of it, or tried it, TCM is simply an 'integrative' way to support the body. It's proven to at the lowest level de-stress and calm the nervous system, and also to support the body overall while managing huge emotional and physical stressors like chemo treatments and cancer.”  

 

In addition, participants receive nutrition support—just another way of combining the intelligence of nature with best-in-class treatment. With the support of Chef Prem who has developed an anti-inflammatory diet, participants learn how their medications may interact with their diet. “Although 'diets' can be complex,” shares Megan, “this one is quite simple as it encourages our bodies to heal from the inside out, to remove internal triggers and inflammation, and hopefully simplify eating and figuring out what may or may not work for us individually.” Plus, delicious food is an important part of life! When we serve food at our retreats, it’s important we have a knowledgeable coach to support us in answering questions about food and gentle guidance to a path of understanding how our bodies work and manage food.” 

Girl Climbing Rock
Guy climbing rock

 

Participant Alyssa Tsagong, who recently experienced a B4BC wellness retreat, shares how meaningful this combination of modalities, as well as the balm of community, was for her: “The conversations, challenges, and aspirations are very different when you have been diagnosed under 50. To be with women who can relate about topics beyond the treatment experience, and to lift one another up, learn, and adventure together is deeply nurturing!” 

 

Some of those ways women are encouraged to share together include journaling, surfing, and a cacao circle and sound bath healing. By combining modalities and bringing the community into the great outdoors, B4BC creates a unique space for healing. Shares Alyssa, “One of the things that I appreciate most about the way this is facilitated is that space is firmly held for the spectrum of experiences and truths. What is a great integrative therapy for one person may not be a right match for another, and the complexity of each of our bodies and needs means there just might not be one perfect diet. The support without the dogma is truly refreshing and so needed.” 

Girl Climbing Rock
Guy climbing rock

 

Megan adds that the simple act of receiving help can often be difficult for the women she works with, but in creating spaces like the wellness retreats, she’s seen many experience transformation. “There are so many things that are important to having and being a part of a 'community' while facing such a life challenge like breast cancer. To start, we sometimes need to be reminded we are never alone. Having cancer regardless of all of the systems in place, and people who love us around us, can be very lonely. And in that remembrance, we can also be reminded we can ask for help, and also even learn to accept help.” 

 

Vuori is proud to partner with B4BC to support young women affected by breast cancer. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October, B4BC helped us sponsor a member of our community to join B4BC's Ocean Wellness Retreat. For more ways to get involved, follow @B4BC and @vuoriclothing and keep an eye on this space.  

Female Fitness Instructor Wearing Vuori Black Jogger Sweatpants

All photos provided by Shaina Joel