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Breast Friends

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Breast Cancer, Health, Health Support, Human Services, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: Breast Friends helps women survive the trauma of breast cancer... one friend at a time by creating a network for support and inspiration.

Target demographics: newly diagnosed patients

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250 new patients and over 200 continuing patients

Geographic areas served: throughout the U.S.

Programs: one-on-one support, group support, chemo hats, bras, breast prosthesis, and wigs, workshops and retreats to patients. We have services that match the patient's journey from moment of diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was so sure I could get through it without a lot of support. I was SO WRONG. I found myself in this really dark place and scared beyond anything I had ever felt before. I made the call to Breast Friends, and my life changed almost immediately. Sharon and Becky provided the hope necessary to get through my diagnosis and treatment, and then they became family. I found my recovery to be a 2 phased experience. First your doctors heal you physically, and then the emotional healing begins. This is where Breast Friends helped me get back on track to a better life than I had before. When I was going through all the surgery and recovery, a happier life is something I seriously couldn't imagine. It was a long and challenging journey, but when I needed that gentle voice, that ray of hope, that person willing to extend themselves to help, there is none better than Breast Friends. Their entire staff is there to help, and their volunteers are the BEST!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I absolutely LOVE Breast Friends and what they do! They are a fantastic non profit that help women who get the awful disease of breast cancer (as 1 in 8 women do) and they show loving, caring and helpful support throughout the harsh uncertain battle these women face.
The innovative idea the Becky Olson and Sharon Henifin had to start this incredible program is so desparately needed and appreciated.
Both Becky and Sharon are Breast Cancer surviors and they know first hand what they are talking about and teaching as they have lived through breast cance and have come out shining examples on the other side! :)
BREAST FRIENDS IN TIGARD OREGON IS LIFE CHANGING AND SO GREAT!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

Breast Friends provides emotional support to women during breast cancer treatment and afterwards. They focus on helping one individual at a time. Amazing women!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I met Sharon Henifin while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, at Northwest Cancer Specialists. It was so refreshing to meet someone so upbeat and so down to earth. Her positive attitude and happy spirit brightened my Wednesday mornings. The opportunity to share my deepest, most personal thoughts and concerns with someone who had "walked in my shoes", was invaluable to me.
Thank you so much Sharon-you are an angel!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hearing the diagnosis of "breast cancer" is traumatic, and not everyone has family, friends or co-workers to provide support. The Mission of Breast Friends - "Until there's a cure, helping women survive the trauma of cancer...one friend at a time....." is to make certain every woman does have loving, caring, sincere support during a frightening, stressful, question-filled time.

Breast Friends is a blessing: the organization exudes kindness, joy and the all-important ear to hear the concerns of Survivors. There is so much fear and confusion beginning with diagnosis that many people feel uncertain about everything. Often, the Survivor, or family member, "just" needs to talk, and our "job" is to listen and help them down from the ceiling.

My diagnosis has resulted in wonderful friendships that I am so glad to have in my life; in fact, I feel breast cancer is one of the most positive experiences of my life because of the special Survivors - all ages, backgrounds, interests, etc - I've met. Breast Friends has also provided me an opportunity to volunteer, and help make a positive difference in other women's lives.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I want to commend Breast Friends for the services they provide to the community. I sell Cancer Insurance and as a result, become one of the first people to learn about cancer diagnosis from my clients. It's a relief to have been exposed to Becky and Sharon's expertise about how to help someone at this point. They give hands on examples of what someone who had been diagnosed with cancer is going through and help those of us around them to actually say and do things that make a positive difference in the lives of newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breast Friends was there when I needed them the most. They provided me with caring peer support, which made my diagnosis and treatments easier. Nothing compared to being able to speak to someone who knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling at that time (emotionally, mentally, and physically). Thanks, Breast Friends! I could not have made it without you.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 1/2 years ago. I immediately went online to look for support. I found breast friends and thought it was local to me in NC. Founder Sharon Henifin contacted me and that is when I discovered they were located in Oregon, all the way across the country. However that did not stop Sharon or breast friends from reaching out to me and providing support in my time to of need. Sharon and I talked for hoursand she helped me through some tough times during chemo. I can only imagine what they do for their local folks. We now have a local chapter in raleigh, NC. Breast friends is a wonderful charity and organization that provides services that are priceless. I hope they have the opportunity to continue to do what they do and expand to help women everywhere. Women diagnosed with breast cancer need them like I needed them. Thanks breast friends for lending your hand to hold through very rough waters.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at an ACS Cancer Resource Center in Bend Oregon. The folks at Breast Friends have generously shared the materials and hats from their vast amount of resources with us. It is such a wonderful opportunity to give a woman with breast cancer some very pertinent information, a tip sheet for the caregiver, and the uplifting hat which always puts a smile on the faces of everyone in the infusion room.
Thank you Breast Friends for being there for the women of Central Oregon.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a 10 year breast cancer survivor. When I was going through my treatment, at the time, Breast of Friends was just starting and not really developed. The only support groups for breast cancer were support groups developed at hospitals. I later met two brave women, Sharon and Becky, who had shared the same similar stories of mine and was on a mission to make a difference not only in Portland but with Breast Cancer. I have seen this organization grow the past 10 years and make a difference in this sisterhood. Breast of Friends had made a great difference in the community of women's cancer by their support, passion,hard work, and most of their commitement to help find a cure for this disease. I would highly recommend this organization and support to continue this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a fabulous organization that provides one-on-one support to breast and ovarian cancer patients. The volunteers are survivors and give an amazing amount of personal time and energy to provide support for patients, their friends and family members. It's amazing what these women do for FREE! I tell all new breast cancer patients about Breast Friends.; I consider them a key resource and don't know what I would do without them!

Review from Guidestar

Liz O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Alone, having just moved to a new city, I was incredibly scared when I found a lump in my left breast. On my way to work one day I saw a "Cancer Support" sign on an office building. Knowing I had no other support to speak of, I pulled in. When I timidly entered Breast Friends' office and explained my problem, they immediately gave me hugs all-around. Then they visited with me a bit to get to know my story, taking time out of their busy days. Finally, they arranged to go to every single one of my doctor appointments so I would not be alone. They took notes, asked good questions, and assured me that they'd stand by me whatever came. They came to my surgery and wrote me cards of encouragement. As it turned out, I didn't have cancer, but I did find some amazing friends. I decided to volunteer with Breast Friends because they actually do things that help, like going to doctor appointment and giving hugs. Without them, an incredibly scary time in my life would have been unbearable. I'd recommend them to anyone.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2010. After my initial meeting with the doctors, I was given a handbook that included many contact sites. I called Breast Friends one afternoon looking for advice on how to deal with my specific situation. I received a call back within an hour with honest and open answers to my questions from people who have had experience with the disease. My original contact has helped me and my husband deal with the fears and frustrations that come with the initial shock and has followed my progress. She has responded quickly to any calls/emails and has reached out just to check on my progress. Given the many volunteers in their group who have personal experience with a wide variety of situations, Breast Friends is in a unique position to provide excellent support.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

After being diagnosed with a high grade fast growing breast cancer in March of 2010 at only age 44 - panic and fear were daily emotions until I met a wonderful Breast Friends Melbourne Chapter Founder - Sherry - at my oncologist's office. Sherry is a BC survivor herself and openly shared her insight with me. She literally held my hand each time they had to access my port to give me chemo (I hate needles!). She and the other women of the Breast Friends organization have continued to call, email and check on my recovery. Words can't express my sincere gratitude for the emotional support I have continued to receive! No women should go through this experience alone and Breast Friends ensures that the support is always there when needed.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Breast Friends for a number of years now because of the assistance these wonderful women and this non-profit offers women going through cancer, in the middle of it or at the end of it. There are no other organizations that I know of that are THERE for you like Breast Friends at the "time" they are needed the most. They help families understand and help them through the process aiding them in their role and how they can help. That in itself if absolutely the most important part in assisting the patient to get healthy again. I wish this organization would have been around when my Mother had breast cancer.

Review from Guidestar

Ms Kristen L Janes

Board Member

Rating: 5

Breast Friends is an exceptional organization on many fronts. First they provide a unique service. By training loved ones, friends and co-workers on how to provide practical help, they multiply the level of support given women going through the trauma of cancer. Second, they support the women themselves from diagnosis, through treatment and through the inevitable changes that occur after recovery. Finally, they maximize their reach by being amazing stewards of every penny provided through donations and fundraising efforts. 80% of every dollar goes directly into programs and outreach. The co-founders always put program and material costs before themselves.

Review from Guidestar

Lyn K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer at age 30 in April 2009. I received a list of breast cancer support groups to call on my first oncology visit, and Breast Friends had a big star handwritten by it. I called the next day, and Sharon H., one of the founders answered the phone herself. I talked with her for over half an hour and I really felt like she understood. She helped me to feel more in control of the situation, and to remember to take it day by day. I received a box from Breast Friends the following week with various breast cancer items, including a hat to help deal with the upcoming loss of my hair. Over the course of my chemo and surgeries, I became personal friends with Sharon as she visited with me and other patients during my chemotherapy treatments. I have made many friends in the same situation as myself thanks to Breast Friends, and knowing there are people who truly understand and want to support you such as Breast Friends, is invaluable when in the battle and beyond. I absolutely reccommend newly diagnosed and survivors alike to call and connect with them.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I remembered Breast Friends. I went into their office for guidance and support. I received both. I was welcomed with open arms and both Sharon and Becky shared their stories. Their strength helped me feel a bit more at ease. They are wonderful people and I was lucky to have them on my side. It is a wonderful organization that more people need to know about.
Denise Jennings

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you feel like there is nothing you can do to help them....or simply don't know what you CAN do. Breast Friends is the solution. They teach friends and loved ones how to be a FRIEND when someone you love is daignosed with cancer. Without Breast Friends, so many of us would be lost.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have worked with and donated to Breast Friends for several years. I have been a board member and volunteer. This caring organization reaches out to health care professionals, survivors (female & male), families and friends. They provide support during and after the breast cancer journey. Until there's a cure Breat Friends will be there to help.

Review from Guidestar