It was one survivor’s dream to see women who had battled breast cancer to move on to the next phase of their lives.
After completing her own treatment, Cathy Glavan Schulze had to figure out how to move on to the next phase of her life. She knew other women felt the same way so with the help of her two sisters she created the HOPE Retreat. The three-day retreat is designed for women who are six to 12 months out of breast cancer treatment. HOPE stands for Healing Opportunities through Personal Enrichment. It is while they are at the retreat that they can reflect on their experience, talk about their experience with other breast cancer survivors, identify positive changes and celebrate their courage.
“It’s to move forward to a new normal,” Teri Glavan, Schulze’ sister-n-law, said.
The retreats are now in their 11th year and have expanded to Michigan, where one of Schulze’ sister lives, and Missouri, where Schulze was originally from. Schulze, who had lived in Monument, died in 2004 after her breast cancer returned, but her family carries on what she started through the nonprofit organization Sister’s Hope.
In order to send women to the retreats funding is needed and the second annual Pretty ‘n’ Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon took place on Oct. 15 at the Antler’s Hilton in Colorado Springs.
“This luncheon is to keep the retreats going,” Jack Glavan, Schulze’ brother and president of Sister’s Hope, said.
Macy’s provided clothing for the fashion show with breast cancer survivors modeling the clothes and there was also an opportunity for a chance to win baskets made up of items donated by local businesses in the Pikes Peak region.
Breast cancer survivors shared their stories and talked about what the retreat had done for them during the luncheon.
“The retreat allows survivors to come to the other side and look back,” one survivor said.
Teri Glavan said Schulze did a lot of research before she developed the retreats. Women will go to a bed and breakfast and take part in small group discussions and workshops and they participate in yoga, go on hikes and get massages.
“The retreat is also to pamper them. It is a very intimate environment,” Teri Glavan said, adding that there are usually only eight women at a time attending a retreat.
The next retreat in Colorado is scheduled for April 24-27 in Dillon.
To learn more about Sister’s HOPE and the HOPE retreats or to make a donation visit http://sistershope.org.