Our staff at the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction warmly welcomes this exclusive interview with Beverly Vote, publisher of (opens in a new tab). The magazine is a quarterly, full color printed publication that goes directly to thousands of breast cancer patients and survivors in all 50 states as well as to several thousand mastectomy centers, breast cancer support groups, and breast cancer centers and events. In addition, the magazine is available (opens in a new tab). The magazine was the 2007 recipient of the Don Ranly Publishers Award for Best Issue in its category and a contender for Best Article for the article “Service, Strength, and Survival.”
Tell us a little bit about your own story. How was Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine created?
I will never forget the feelings I had in 1992 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. I felt very alone and very afraid. It wasn't just my health that I was concerned about, but I was deeply worried how it was affecting my family. Three perfect strangers reached out to me in my darkest hours and provided hope and inspiration at a time when my medical doctors had little to offer. The magazine was created because I learned first hand from these three women how important it is to share hope and inspiration with one another. Twenty one years later, I continue to see the importance in sharing our healing stories. The Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine includes both valuable information from leading experts in the field of integrative medicine but also personal stories from breast cancer thrivers.
Have you noticed certain themes for articles lately? What are the big focus topics today for the magazine?
Themes in blogs and other articles seem to be more centered around empowering our mind, our body and our spirit. The focus for the Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine continues to include this, as it has since its inception, but the magazine now also campaigns to change self-communication from, 'I am a survivor,' to 'I am a thriver!' There is a thriving force in all of us that wants to be experienced, to live life with more passion and joy, and if not after a diagnosis of breast cancer, when?
The (opens in a new tab) is a fun and celebratory event that brings women together from across the United States. Every year we have a 'Far Out Thriver' contest for the person traveling the farthest to attend the cruise. For the past two years, the winner has been from Liverpool England, but we have also had women travel from Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Grand Cayman Islands, and Afghanistan. Over 55% are repeat cruisers with many women traveling with us for five consecutive years. We also have a Pink Celebration Party every year on the cruise, and recognize the Largest Group traveling together, the Best Karaoke, Prettiest Pink T-Shirt contest, and the Funkiest Flip Flop contest. We recently added the Encourager Award and the Thriving Caregiver award. What is great about the Thrivers Cruise is that it offers the opportunity to do things with new found friends as well as time for personal recreation or with others. For the repeat cruisers, we love seeing friends that we have made from our previous trips. Every year, (opens in a new tab). It's very easy to register to win! The simple qualifications to win are on the website (opens in a new tab)(opens in a new tab). It is a random drawing and includes an inside cabin for the winning recipient and the guest of her/his choice. Our travel agent for our 8th Annual Breast Cancer Thrivers Cruise 2014 is Connie Saunders, owner of Your Cruise Agents. Connie and her Crew were selected as our travel agency because Connie has a real need to be of service for this annual event.... both her mother and her best friend were diagnosed with breast cancer. Connie knows the power that fellowship and fun provides! Connie has created an (opens in a new tab) for our group.
The most important message that I personally want to convey to anyone facing breast cancer is that we are not powerless over breast cancer and we don't have to face breast cancer alone. One of the greatest allies we have in this healing journey is the Pink Sisterhood. Connecting with someone who understands what we are going through is life-changing. The Pink Sisterhood is one of the most dynamic forces on earth and is an important resource no matter what age or stage of the journey that we are on.
The Breast Cancer Wellness Ambassadors' program is soon to launch. This program includes an introduction to the wholistic healing principles specific for breast cancer and tools to help empower our body, mind and spirit after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Advanced training for the BCW Transformational Leaders and Speakers will also be offered.