They took on breast cancer. Now they’re taking on supporting survivorship for people with all types of cancer.
The Bosom Buddies of Carroll County, a group of women who met three years ago through the Carroll Hospital Embrace program for breast cancer survivors, have raised more than $10,000 for that program in just more than three months.
“It’s just amazing. It’s unique. It’s community giving back to community,” said Dr. Dona Hobart, breast surgeon and medical director of the Carroll Hospital Center for Breast Health. “We all thought they were crazy but they did it.”
The Embrace program was founded to provide women who survived breast cancer with follow up support, through health and nutrition classes, yoga and talks, and an overnight retreat as well, Hobart said. But it was founded with grant money that eventually dried up, necessitating fundraising to keep it going, fundraising the Bosom Buddies were willing to take on.
“All of us moved through the program and when the program wasn’t able to be funded again, well, we wanted to make sure it continued on for the next group of cancer survivors,” said Bosom Buddy Tabatha Knoyer, of Eldersburg.
Knoyer and her friends had been running the silent auction at the hospital’s annual Pink Fling fundraiser in October, which supports both the Center for Breast Health and the Embrace program. It was there, in 2017, that Knoyer got the idea of a bike raffle.
“Someone donated a bike and it didn’t make it to the auction because someone bought it outright. I kept thinking, I bet we can raise more money for this,” Knoyer said. “I just started calling places and asking if I could come out and sell these raffle tickets.”
“We were very impressed by the passion and momentum they had. They were at every farmers market, gathering, restaurant, you name it,” said Marcia McMullin, coordinator of the Center for Breast Health. “It caught some attention.”
After raffling off two bicycles, one in April and the second in June, the group raised $10,768.
“They were amazing,” Hobart said. “They were driven, dedicated and worked their tails off.”
Those funds will now go to support the classes, talks and retreat, held on at Bon Secours, in Marriottsville, that helped Tabatha and the other Bosom Buddies form their bond and continue healing after their treatment, according to McMullin.
“The retreat is really geared toward people who have been through treatment within five years. Life has changed and this is a way to have an end of something to begin something else,” she said. “That’s a big chunk of money to help support that.”
It was also important to Knoyers and others that the Embrace program be open to all cancer survivors, not just breast cancer survivors — and now it is, according to McMullin.
“We would love to get that word out,” McMullin said. “I think our breast cancer patients are very mindful that there is a lot of momentum around breast cancer and the other cancers don’t get as much of the fluffy things.”
After such a successful run in raising funds in such a short order, will the Bosom Buddies be auctioning another bike soon?
Not until after the 2018 Pink Fling, according to Knoyer.
“The Pink Fling is Oct. 20 at Martin’s West, and tickets are $55,” she said. “We will be going out and hitting businesses up for donation.”
Anyone interesting in donating to the Pink Fling should call 410-871-6200.