The Pink Ribbon Place, a program of Riverside Community Health Foundation and Riverside’s first breast cancer resource center, has reached an exciting milestone as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary of improving the quality of life for those who have been impacted by breast cancer in the Riverside community. Read more for the full press release.
Riverside, CA – The Pink Ribbon Place, a program of Riverside Community Health Foundation and Riverside’s first breast cancer resource center, has reached an exciting milestone as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary of improving the quality of life for those who have been impacted by breast cancer in the Riverside community.
In 2006, the now shuttered Inland Agency operated a program then known as “The Women’s Health Initiative” through a seed grant from Riverside Community Health Foundation, which offered free diagnostic services to financially disadvantaged women under the age 40 with breast health concerns. During that time, the initiative screened over 700 women, and diagnosed 14 women.
“It kept coming up that when a woman was diagnosed, there was nothing close enough to help her,” said Becky Foreman, the former Executive Director of Inland Agency. “It’s not that she can’t afford it,” continued Becky, “there was just no support at all. There were a few isolated [support] groups that were specific to a medical centers or specific to a hospital, but not just a resource center where women can come and just say ‘Okay, what do I need to know? What do I need to do?’ Or just come looking for general information.”
The Women’s Health Initiative was thusly nurtured to address these concerns, and in 2009, through the guidance of a group of local breast cancer survivors then known as the “BRA (Breast Resource Advocates) Committee” which was led by an International New York Times bestselling author and lawyer, Teresa J. Rhyne, Esq., The Pink Ribbon was established as Riverside’s first and only full service breast cancer resource center.
“We met to brainstorm every resource we wished we had when we were first diagnosed,” recalled Teresa. “We were trying to address all the issues a breast cancer patient encounters that aren’t dealt with by the medical community—anything from wigs, prosthesis, moral support, community, [and] advice from someone who’d ‘been there, done that…’”
The center was created to bridge the gap of support for those who have been impacted by breast cancer through not only its diagnostic services, but also wigs, hats, bra, scarves, support groups for the English and Spanish speaking populations, and survivor mentorship.
Like many nonprofits during this time, Inland Agency was impacted by the prolonged economic downturn, and could no longer support the vital programs at The Pink Ribbon Place. So, on October 1, 2013, Riverside Community Health Foundation, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of the community, became the sole operators and owner of The Pink Ribbon Place.
Over the years, The Pink Ribbon Place has evolved to include support for more than just breast cancer patients, but also women and their families who have been impacted by cancer, regardless of area of diagnosis. The center’s mission has also evolved to improve the quality for life for all those who have been impacted by cancer before, during, and after diagnosis.
Through the careful stewardship of Riverside Community Health Foundation, the resource center has expanded its programs to include strength building exercise classes such as Iyengar yoga and Aquamotion, support groups for cervical cancer and metastatic cancer patients, hosting a nationally recognized program Look Good Feel Better that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, as well as hosting its annual SoCal Women’s Cancer Conference, which was designed to help women throughout the Southern California region touched by any form of cancer, explore ways to balance the mind, body and spirit outside of standard medical care.
“In many ways 10 years has flown by,” continued Teresa, who also celebrated her 10-year anniversary of being cancer-free this year, “in other ways, it seems like only a couple years ago a group of cancer survivors gathered in my conference room to consider how we can best be of service to others diagnosed with breast cancer.”
This year alone, The Pink Ribbon Place has served 124 individuals with over 350 cancer related support products, and provided over 800 direct services to women, men, and their families throughout the community absolutely free of cost. For more information about The Pink Ribbon Place, its program offerings, or how to support, please visit http://pink.rchf.org or by calling 951-823-0261.