By Carolina Salinas
When it comes to speaking about breast cancer, everybody focuses on the uncomfortable moments that this disease causes, during its presence in the body. However, not many people consider what life is like after, with the scars left behind as a reminder of this disease, or even the damaged self-esteem of a woman.
Alicia Vianga is the Founder and Executive Director of the charity After Breast Cancer, a 100% Torontonian volunteer charity dedicated to supporting ‘breast cancer graduates’, as Vianga calls them, instead of survivors.
Healing and enhancing self-esteem with ABC
The healing process of this terrible disease has always been hard, however, over the span of seven years, ABC has supported breast cancer graduates with financial troubles, mastectomy bras, breast prostheses, or camisoles. In an interview with VIBE105, Alicia described what made this charity different than the rest. She said: “We work directly with the women. We do not work on research. Our main goal as an organization is to make everyone look and feel beautiful again”.
She added: “It is essential and important that people know that there is support out there, so don´t be shy. Reach out and ask for help and we will do whatever we can to support.
Helping over 550 women with ABC initiatives
Being a 100% volunteer run charity has not made it easy to raise money or find helping hands to support this charity and its noble causes. Alicia explains: “We are not affiliated, nor do we partner with any other major charities or even Government run organizations. We have supported over 550 women in the last seven years and we have to raise the money to do that, so we come up with different initiatives, such as the ‘Scarf for a Scar’. This consists of selling a pink scarf, which anybody can use themselves, or give it as a gift.”
Another example is the current running campaign called ‘Thrive 365’, which includes raising enough funds to provide 365 kits to give to women affected by breast cancer. It is important to mention that the costs of these kits are around $250 each because it contains products such as special bras that will help them with their initial healing after having survived breast cancer.
How to give something to Breast Cancer Graduates
If you are interested in getting involved with this organization and are willing to contribute some of your time, compassion, skills and professionalism to After Breast Cancer, Alicia Vianga invites you to be a part of its team as a volunteer. There are plenty of positions you can be a part of, such as running events, marketing, blogging, or Public Relations. You can also apply as a volunteer coming from the professional world to help, if you are interested in covering an internship.
Remember, cancer does not have to become a limitation in your life.
For more information on After Breast Cancer, click here.