The Breasties pride themselves on being the world’s first non-profit community for ‘previvors, survivors, stage four thrivers and caregivers’, providing community for those who’ve been affected by breast cancer from all walks of life, while funding essential research into areas such as stage four metastatic breast cancer research.
It’s that drive to keep pushing for something better that made them the ideal fit to be our 2022 #MagTeamChallenge partners, our annual fundraising challenge to raise funds for and awareness of groundbreaking patient centered organizations.
To kick off this year’s challenge, we spoke to all three founders – Paige Moore, Bri Majsiak and Allie Brumel – who have all been directly impacted by breast cancer themselves, to find out how they’re creating a truly unique member experience.
The Breasties was born out of a chance meeting between Bri and Paige at a support group, that Paige describes as ‘sterile’ and unwelcoming. “I just remember feeling like, this is it? This is all we get? It was not conducive to feeling comfortable or confident sharing your stories, to really make friends”, said Paige.
So they set about building their own community, one that would empower members through free events and trusted resources, and campaign for change on what really mattered to those experiencing breast cancer.
Within months, they were accumulating members from across the US, and not long after several international chapters were set up too. They prided themselves on being the ‘the worst club with the best members’, in reference to their passion for making the best of their cancer experiences through true friendship and support.
Initially the organization brought the community together through in-person events around the world. These initially started as wellness weekend retreats hosted in special locations for about small groups of Breasties at a time, offered completely free of charge.
They spent time outside doing things that challenged their bodies, physically and mentally, providing a welcome escape from their every day lives.
“The power was just coming together. 30 people who didn’t know each other but had some sort of shared experience, spending the weekend together and becoming our own family”, explained Allie.
Back in September 2019, The Breasties hosted their biggest event to date, Camp Breastie. It saw almost 500 members travel to The Poconos to strengthen their community bonds and togetherness. It was a huge success and encouraged Paige, Bri and Allie that they had to do more.
COVID unfortunately put a halt on their plans, so the team had to move quickly in order to continue providing peer to peer support and personal touchpoints. There were able to build a virtual support platform which has made the community so much more accessible to everyone around the world.
“It was kind of a silver lining of learning in some ways as it made our community so much more accessible to everyone. We had people zooming in from their hospital beds, having just had surgery!” said Bri.
Becoming a hybrid organization remains and will continue to be something that The Breasties will continue into the future. They describe the opportunities moving online provided them with as ‘life-changing’ for the organization.
This October, The Breasties launched their very own app, which will provide the community with event more opportunity to come together from around the world and share their experiences all in one central place.
It allows members to search for a community or person near to them and set up connections, as well as being a haven for asking questions and sharing thoughts and advice with others.
Over the last few weeks, they’ve hosted their first in-person events since 2020, with meetings in Los Angeles and New York, and one planned for Texas later in the month too. It shows the level of The Breasties ambition, but they know they couldn’t do it without their members and the volunteers that keep the community growing.
“We have the most incredible volunteers,” said Bri. “So many people have helped inform our vision for The Breasties, because they just want to be involved. We could not do what we do without them. So please get in touch, share feedback and tell us what you want to see more of. We really, really love and appreciate all feedback.”