By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – PinkHippy.org is a nonprofit organization comprised of a community of like-minded individuals whose lives have been touched in some way by breast cancer. Some members are survivors themselves, others have family or friends who have had breast cancer, but all share a common goal. For President Del Blanchard, the organization was born of pure frustration.
“After being diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago I quickly realized that the holistic information and services that I was looking for to help me through diagnosis and treatment were difficult to obtain,” she shared. “Trying to navigate through all of the information available on the internet was a daunting task and just raised more questions. All I wanted was another person to talk to that had been where I was going – not an impersonal chat room or message board, but a real live human.”
The mission of PinkHippy.org is to provide complementary holistic services and support to local breast cancer patients, survivors and their families. Among the network of providers and volunteers provided by PinkHippy.org are oncology massage and lymphedema therapists, Reiki practitioners, yoga instructors, and those specializing in meditation and art and music therapy.
“Being diagnosed with breast cancer is hard enough,” said Blanchard, “finding the information, services and support you need to make yourself well – body, mind and spirit – should not be a struggle, too.”
As part of the many services offered by PinkHippy.org, comfort pillows, chemotherapy shawls and lap robes are available at cancer centers throughout central New England, including St. Joseph’s Hospital Breast Care Center in Nashua, N.H., Dana Farber Women’s Cancer Center in Milford, St. Vincent’s Cancer and Wellness Center in Worcester, and Harrington Cancer Center in Southbridge. All services are offered free of charge to those currently in treatment.
Money raised through events as well as the gifts, donations and grants received are used to subsidize the cost of holistic services and fund the programs. The organization is run by volunteers – there are no salaries, perks or bonuses.
“We are passionate about using our limited funds where they do the most good, for services which directly impact breast cancer patients and their families,” Blanchard said. “Each time I speak at an event and meet those that are looking for the services that we offer it reaffirms our purpose. And for the countless women that I talk to who have been helped by PinkHippy.org I am humbled and heartened that we have been able to make a difference for the better.”
Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, PinkHippy.org will be hosting a Sound Healing Concert Sunday, Sept. 27, at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough. The event, which will begin at 1 p.m. will feature didgeridoo musician and sound therapist Joseph Carringer; Native American drumming and rattling, singing bowls and guided imagery with Joe Hayes from SoundScapers Drumming and the ethereal voice and Celtic harp of Akasha Anne Belliveau.
Tickets are $60 per person and may be purchased on line at www.PinkHippy.org or by phone by calling Marie at 508-735-9257 or Nancy at 860-935-5613. Reduced price tickets are available for caregivers and family members. For sponsorship information or to make a donation, visit www.pinkhippy.org/shc.htm.