Get ready to be moved, inspired and empowered in our heartening conversation with an incredible woman, Tina Fernandez, the Executive Director of HERS Breast Cancer Foundation. Tina gives us an inside look into the foundation’s remarkable journey since its inception in 1998, highlighting their mission of providing hope, empowerment, renewal, and support to those battling breast cancer. Through her unwavering commitment to health equity and human dignity, Tina demonstrates how the foundation ensures that all breast cancer patients, regardless of their income or insurance status, have access to essential recovery products and services.
Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as we delve into the world of prosthetics, specifically designed for those who have undergone mastectomies. Tina sheds light on the significance of custom prosthetics and bras, the importance of cleanliness when using them, and their role in aiding recovery. She emphasizes the foundation's commitment to providing free fittings and services to those in need. But that’s not all; we also explore the fundraising side of the foundation - an integral part of their operations. Engage with us as we discuss the upcoming Pink Patch Project, the Footprints Booth and an array of other fundraising initiatives.
Wrapping up our conversation, Tina shares the rewarding nature of her work, describing it as not just offering products and services but empowering women to reclaim their lives. She expresses gratitude for the incredible support from volunteers and board members, highlighting their direct patient services. Tina also takes us through her personal journey and shares a peek into her life outside of the foundation. Join us and be inspired by the dedication, compassion, and resilience that powers the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation's efforts to uplift those waging the battle against breast cancer.
Find out more about HERS here on their website.
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Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.
Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.
This episode was edited by Andrew C.
Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.
Rachel Pray is our print editor for our newsletter.
Mark Emmons provides additional reporting and content.
Music was found and licensed through Soundstripe.com.
Music Content ID GSWH7LBEVM5XRNUD
This is a Muggins Media Podcast.
I'm Gary Williams. Your reviews help other people find this podcast. If you would please leave a review on iTunes.Speaker 2:
We really firmly believe that that part of what we do is about health equity. No matter who you are, you know, no matter what your income level or your insurance status or whatever, breast cancer is devastating enough as it is, they deserve to access products and our services that help them feel that's great yeah, it helps them heal.Speaker 3:
I would say health equity and it seems like human dignity as well. Absolutely it's just feeling as much like who you are as you can be Absolutely.Speaker 1:
Coming to you straight from Fremont, California. This is the Fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont, one conversation at a time. Hello, Fremont. Ricky told me to stick my head in a dumpster and tell you this is episode 89 of the Fremont podcast. Now here's your host, Ricky B.Speaker 3:
Well, I'm going to go ahead and get started, if you're ready.Speaker 1:
You good. Okay, I'm with Tina Fernandez and she is the executive director of hers, and currently we are in her office at Washington Hospital System. Welcome, tina, to the Fremont podcast, so tell me a little bit about what you do with hers, what is hers and what is your role in this.Speaker 2:
Okay, so hers breast cancer foundation is a nonprofit. We've been around since 1998. So this is a big year for us our 25th anniversary, that's right. So hers actually is an acronym. It has meaning. It stands for Hope, empowerment, renewal and Support.Speaker 3:
Okay, and just to be clear, this is not a like a nationwide program. This is something that's local. It was started here, locally, no we're totally, yeah, very.Speaker 2:
I don't know, would you call this hyper local.Speaker 1:
I don't know, yeah, probably yeah.Speaker 2:
So founded in 1998 in Fremont by three very dynamic women. Principal among them was a woman named Trisha McMahon Her dad was actually a physician at Washington Hospital Healthcare System and she had this vision of helping women feel empowered, and especially women who had been through breast cancer and the two other founders one was her partner, Cheryl Mahoney, excuse me and then actually someone with tax background, Nancy Vital.Speaker 1:
So, yeah.Speaker 2:
So these three women were, just, like, you know, we. They sensed or recognized that the unique needs of breast cancer patients were not being met post surgical breast cancer patients so they set out to create this foundation. Back then it had a different name actually. It was called bras for body and soul. Okay, and yeah, and some people still know us by that name. But a number of years ago they decided to kind of give the nonprofit a makeover. So we have a new logo, newer logo, and and then they did the name change.Speaker 3:
Okay, I interrupted you when you were explaining what the acronym standard for so what is the acronym?Speaker 2:
It stands for Hope, empowerment, renewal and Support, which are the things that we strive to restore in our patients. Okay, breast cancer is can leave patients feeling just devastated because of the fear of the illness that changes it can cause to their bodies if they've just elected to go through surgery. And so now of course there's kind of that movement it's been with us for a while of prophylactic surgery where patients are just saying Nope, I mean I, my risk factors are too great, so I'm going to elect to have a double mastectomy, for example. So all of those factors and first treatment too, as we chatted about earlier when you first arrived. You know patients lose weight, they lose their hair. You know changes to their skin.Speaker 3:
I can see why the original name was a bras for bodies and souls bras for body and soul. Body and soul, I can see how that can be late, because that makes a lot of sensors, the physical aspects that you, that people need help with, that they're not sure how to deal with and handle. But then there's also just the like, the inner struggle that comes as well. And I can see how that can be Absolutely A great name.Speaker 2:
Yeah, it is. It is quite well done. I'm sure that was a decision made like with the board and with the team, and my predecessor here is a mentor to Dr Vera Packard. She served as executive director after our founder, trisha McMahon, left the organization, so Vera was with the organization nine years and then decided to move on to another cancer related nonprofit and so she recommended me for the job.Speaker 3:
So I've been here since November of 2017. Okay, so I'm coming up on my sixth year which is kind of I know. Yeah, so you had asked about my role. I'm executive director. So I oversee operations here, management. We're small, so I do you know HR, hiring, recruiting, you know kind of all of that management you know it is a lot and then when I was hired, they I knew this going into it they said that I would need to do the development as well. And I came from a development background. I worked at another nonprofit here in. Fremont. So develop means just Donor relations, major events, fundraising, I do marketing communications too.Speaker 3:
Do it all.Speaker 2:
Sort of, although I have to give a shout out and you can find us on Instagram and Facebook, but I do now have a social media manager and community outreach manager All in one. Her name is Muriel Foro and she's fantastic.Speaker 3:
So that's a huge help. Yeah, I imagine I was gonna say I think I wanna talk a little bit later about what you've done in the past and what led you to this, but you have a team out here that's hard at work as well. And before we talk about that or kind of setting it up, as far as helping people understand what they do, what does hers do in general? Like I think it might be. I think the bigger idea of providing support is helpful, but, like you just walked me through and gave me a tour of everything, so tell me on the practical, day to day level, what is it that hers does for these breast cancer patients?Speaker 2:
Right, okay, so we are a nonprofit. We basically support breast cancer patients with their post-surgical needs. So our mission is to support all individuals by providing post-surgical products and services, regardless of their financial or insurance status, and we do this through several programs. So for our underserved patients meaning patients who are low income, underinsured or uninsured we have several assistance programs that provide the post-surgical products that I mentioned. So it's pocketed bras, breast forms or breast prosthetics for patients who have lost a breast due to surgery. We have wigs, we have post-surgical camisoles that provide support in the weeks following this major surgery, and then we do also have compression sleeves, gloves and gauntlets, which are fingerless gloves for patients who develop a condition called lymphedema, which is basically a pooling of lymph fluid or a buildup of lymph fluid and hands and arms and related to lymph node removal during their surgery or even damaged caused by the radiation or other treatments. So, basically, those are the products that we provide and we are a nonprofit. We do fund raising to support the charitable side of what we do. But I do need to say that we serve patients from all walks of life, patients who are fully insured, patients who have the means. We are three locations. We are here in Fremont, of course, san Leandro and then Livermore are just beautifully appointed spaces. They don't look clinical at all.Speaker 3:
Although it's very welcome. Very welcome, Right right.Speaker 2:
And a lot of patients say that when they walk in. So we are DME, which means durable medical equipment.Speaker 3:
So we are contracted with different insurances, and that's one of the things, speaking of insurance, that we do too. We take that burden off our patients instead of them having to deal with their insurance billing. We handle that for them.Speaker 3:
That's awesome Wow.Speaker 2:
So they are not burdened with that.Speaker 3:
They can concentrate on just their healing and getting better.Speaker 3:
That's great. Yeah, I was thinking when you were mentioning just a minute ago, you had said something about the fact that there's like a new procedure as to how certain whether it's surgeries or whatever are being done. I can imagine that some, as because I actually talked with another surgeon here at Washington Hospital on another episode, I don't know maybe a couple months ago, and he was talking to me about how orthopedics has changed, hit replacement and that sort of thing and how it just seems to be like changing so quickly. There's certain things that they can do now that they weren't doing three or four years ago. How often do you find yourself having to deal with, like a new product or a product that no longer? Is that something like? Do you find yourself having to find new products, find new ways to be able to help deal with certain issues that the patients are going through because of different procedures, or no?Speaker 2:
I don't think so. I mean, since I started here almost six years ago, the products are have not changed that much. I have to say, we do have patients who prefer like a lighter prosthetic or one that helps keep them cooler, and so there have been developments with the prosthetics.Speaker 3:
That makes sense.Speaker 2:
But where they're? They just allow for just better air flow so that they're not overheating. They don't have the silicone up against their chest wall and it's where it feels, where they just get overheated for lack of a better term. So, and then also, our bras are. Yeah, they're changing styles all the time, making them more comfortable. None of our bras are. They're all wire free. Physicians don't recommend wearing wired bras. And I. Well, one thing I can say too is that we do some custom prosthetics. So that has been actually a change, so where we use an iPad basically and we, our breast care specialists, do really precise measurements and fittings when they do a consultation with the vendor, and then what we can then provide the patient is a prosthetic that will fit them. Not all you know, for some patients off the shelf, prosthetic isn't won't necessarily work, and that is because of the extent of their surgery. I think I know that when I first started here I thought oh okay, if someone has had a mastectomy, if the breast is missing, the breast has been removed, but and it's just a smooth surface. But that's not the case. So patients are left with, often with divots in their skin, and for some patients, custom prosthetic goes a long way towards helping them feel better about themselves. The fit is better. So that is something that we do and we have done actually custom, some custom sleeves and gloves for patients who also can't wear something off the shelf.Speaker 3:
Okay, We'll be right back. You can hear the rest of this conversation in just a moment. Recently, my family was trying to figure out what we were gonna do for dinner. We wanted a place where we were gonna be served good food, we were gonna be treated well and we wanted a good atmosphere. So we decided to go to Billy Roy's Burgers. Not only does Billy Roy's have the best burgers in town, but they've also got great salads, they've got great sandwiches and they've got great desserts. The service was efficient and friendly and, to top it all off, it's the beginning of football season and Billy Roy's has more than adequate screens to watch your game. If you're interested in watching football at Billy Roy's, you won't miss a play. If you're looking for a place to enjoy good food and good service, I recommend Billy Roy's Burgers on Thornton Avenue. Are you tired of pushy real estate agents who don't have your best interest at heart? Jennifer Petricelli treats every client like family and takes the time to educate them throughout the buying or selling process. With her neighborhood expertise and excellent communication skills, jennifer helps her client make smart real estate decisions that benefit them in the long run. Petricelli Homes Realty Group is the breath of fresh air you need. Reach out to Jennifer today and discover why Petricelli Homes is the right choice for all of your real estate needs. Yeah, because you were also saying while we were walking through and looking at the products, you were saying that some are able to have reconstructive surgery but in some cases they people either opt to not do that or they just can't. And so there's products that you have that are able to help and help whatever decision. I guess they they choose Right.Speaker 2:
Some patients have had do undergo reconstruction, and we've had some patients. You know it's called a failed reconstruction, which is not a reflection on anything. The patient has done it, just for different reasons they're they might develop an infection. It just does not go well. So then sometimes for those patients, rather than go through another surgery, do another reconstruction, they just have the implants or whatever it is that they've had done reversed and then they come to us for a breast form. You know some patients just they they'll have their breasts removed and just do not want to deal with additional surgeries. Those surgeries can often be very the recovery and then the experience it can be just daunting, very time consuming and painful. It's just not something that they want to go through. So for those patients, we do have the breast forms that we talked about earlier. Yeah, they come in different, different shapes, especially if they've lost a unilateral mastectomy. If they have one remaining breast, we do our best to find them a breast form that will match and so that they're, you know, leaving their home and they're confident and you know they're symmetrical and and and then they come in different skin tones too, which is important.Speaker 3:
Wow, that's great. Yeah, how many patients do you you think that you guys see, maybe in a year, like what is? Do you? Do you have a count on that?Speaker 2:
Yeah, well, what I have is a count of how many office visits we have a year. And so that's usually around 2100 office visits. Wow yeah.Speaker 3:
No way.Speaker 2:
Well, what happens is we get and I have to count that time because it's like every time a patient comes in it's it's a fresh appointment, and so they're often coming to us, let's say, for lymphedema patients. So that person will come to us, let's say in January, and they'll get sleeves and gloves to address that condition and with typical wear and tear, even though they're receiving two of each, one to wash, one to wear, because cleanliness is really important, being sanitary so two of each product or garment and then, with normal wear and tear, they're needing to come back like 10 months later for a replacement, usually within a year. So those are patients that we're spending time with again later on in the year. But yeah, it's, and we, as of now, we have never charged for office visits the fittings the services. Those services are free. But you know we do have the retail side of what we do, where we sell our products, sure yeah. But again, for patients who are in need and struggling, even if their co-pays represent a burdensome amount of funds for them, we have even for that. We have a, a, a, a, a fund where we can write those those off.Speaker 3:
That's great, wow. And so, as a nonprofit, this is not just something that you're not operating off of all the money you're making from the bras that you sell. So how do you, how do you, make that happen?Speaker 2:
Yes, so we do fundraising all throughout the year. So, I basically have six initiatives annually, so I do from the top. Just looking at the calendar year, Every spring we do a Gala that's very pink and very sparkly. Folks love that one. They have a chance to get dressed up.Speaker 3:
Where does that?Speaker 2:
help. Usually that is um last two years we did it at um the Casa Bella Event Center in Senol which is a beautiful venue, it's a little small for us. So um next year, 2024, april 27th, folks mark your calendars. We will be back at Castlewood Country Club and that's traditionally where we've always had that event. It's just a much larger space to accommodate everyone who wants to attend. So, um, so that is a fundraiser for us. We also it incorporates um, our hers award. So for every, you know, hope, empowerment, renewal and support, those are four awards that we give out to individuals who have just gone above and beyond to support us as a really as a volunteer. Um, it's, it's, uh, yeah, so that's a beautiful evening. Um, and then, uh, we do our fall, uh, walk, run, yoga fundraiser, which is always at Corey Lakes. This, it's always the last Saturday of September.Speaker 3:
That's coming up.Speaker 2:
It's coming up, it's our official kickoff to breast cancer awareness month. That's another month long um opportunity for us to get out in the community. We do lots of um um presentations, just um outreach, letting people know about our services, and we do incorporate breast cancer prevention and awareness into those talks and those presentations.Speaker 3:
Um, so I don't want to. I don't want to hijack the direction of hearing any of the other fundraiser, but I do. I do want to stop and just make sure. So, um, so, the uh run and yoga event fundraiser that's coming up, it's going to be at Corey Lakes. Corey Lakes, um and so how? How can people be involved in this in a way that would benefit you guys?Speaker 2:
Oh, they can. Um for sure, they can register and participate the day of the event. Um, so they can just visit our website, hers breast cancer foundationorg. Um, click on our events tab and go to the art, our event page for the walk run yoga event. Um, or they can just simply call 510790191 for more information. This year we're doing something different. We're trying to be, uh, just more mindful of the environment. Um, save printing costs and it has the added benefit of just cutting down our overhead. But, it, um, registration is online only, so folks can also go directly to race rostercom and search for our event and register. Just go directly there and just so. Um, we're working with the new vendor this year, brazen racing, and they're doing our timing for the um, because it is a timed uh race so the 5k 10k is timed. Um, the walk is up only 5k. And then, um, my dear friend Sherry Plaza uh, she's a local fitness instructor. Um, she is going to lead our um, yoga session. So it's an outdoor yoga session which is and there will be chair yoga too. So if people can't get out on the course or don't want to. That approximately 45 minute yoga session is going to be a really nice option and she's. She has a really fun approach to yoga. She makes fitness fun. So we're looking forward to that. She's volunteering her time. Thank you, sherry. Um, let's see. And then we have a virtual option. So if people are living out of state, um, you know, back during COVID, you know, when we had to be just completely virtual, we had people in New York, people in Florida, um, people in Hawaii, um, walking, um, uh and participating virtually. So that that's a lot of fun, that's cool. But one and the other bonus of it is that there's a community expo, which is a great way, um anybody that might be passing through can walk through. That they're welcome to to participate.Speaker 3:
What will be at the expo Uh local.Speaker 2:
So almost all of our sponsors are going to have a booth. So we're going to see Washington hospital healthcare system and UCSF out there. Howlers um pharmacy and they also own Fremont botanicals. Jasmine and her team will be out there.Speaker 3:
She's a new sponsor of the podcast as well. So that's a, that's a uh, I'll have to drop by and support them a little bit too.Speaker 2:
Yeah, there you go, and yeah, that is amazing.Speaker 3:
I want to tell you about Milk and Honey Cafe. They're a family-owned restaurant located on Fremont Boulevard in North Fremont. They serve fresh noodles, stir fries, bentos soup, vegetarian dishes, boba drinks and so much more. And for Fremont podcast listeners, if you make a purchase of $50 or more, you get a complimentary Thai tea or a fruit tea with your purchase. You can find out how to dine in or order at MilkandHoneyFremontcom For more information and links. Be sure to check out our show notes If you want to hear more of their story. Check out episode 8 on the Fremont podcast.Speaker 2:
Let's see. We're also going to have we just confirmed, I think Fremont PD. They're big supporters of ours. They participate in the Pink Patch Project. They'll have a booth out there. The nonprofit I co-founded, Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition will have a booth. Kathy Kimberlin and my co-founder she's a co-founder and Lisa Stanbaugh will be at the booth. David Hobart, supervisor district one, will have a booth. He's a major sponsor.Speaker 3:
So yeah, local nonprofits small businesses banter bookshop shout out to all these I'll be a sponsor for our podcast. Yeah, amy's great.Speaker 2:
Yeah, it's very much you know, just a great opportunity to find out about what's going on in the community through all of those exhibitors In the middle. We always set up this really meaningful space, for it's called the Footprints booth, and there's a local family, the Buantelogiligan family. They bring out their family, their own family members and friends, and they work on it months in advance, and so they create a theme around the booth, and this year's theme is Wizard of Oz.Speaker 3:
I know.Speaker 2:
It's very Instagrammable. I mean people are totally attracted to their booth, but it's called Footprints booth for a reason because they provide paper footprints and anyone walking or running can have a paper footprint and write the name of the person that they're walking or running in honor of and they can pin it to their bib. That's awesome, that's very cool and they're tagline this, I know, and they've done this every year for years. They're quick to point out that it's not their original concept, but they took it over and they're carrying on the legacy of the person who originally started it, and I can't recall who that is right now. But yeah, the Buantelogiligan family are amazing. Shout out to Gloria and her daughter. They're just Jen, they're just amazing, and so they're. Tagline this year is there's no place like Hope.Speaker 3:
I love that Because it's Wizard of Oz, yeah, and then they also have yeah, I think so.Speaker 2:
and then they also have a survivor's booth where they can. If you're a survivor, you can ring the bell. Okay, deutre Enterprises is our lunch sponsor, so everyone that's registered will get a pink wristband and they can have lunch. Nice Barbecue lunch.Speaker 1:
There's a vegetarian option.Speaker 2:
What am I missing? We're gonna music.Speaker 3:
It sounds amazing. It sounds to me like anybody that doesn't come is gonna be missing all of it.Speaker 2:
Right, so don't don't fall victim to FOMO.Speaker 3:
You need to everyone out there.Speaker 2:
September 30th. Register online. Yeah, racerostercom, and just search for her's breast cancer foundation.Speaker 3:
That's great.Speaker 2:
So, most importantly, the proceeds from this will go into our assistance programs. We really firmly believe that that part of what we do is about health equity. No matter who you are, you know, no matter what your income level or your insurance status or whatever, breast cancer is devastating enough as it is. They deserve to access products and our services that help them feel.Speaker 3:
It helps them heal Health, equity and it seems like human dignity as well. Absolutely. It's just feeling as much like who you are as you can be.Speaker 2:
So do you have any other fundraisers or anything like that at all? That happens.Speaker 2:
You have the two.Speaker 3:
You have the one in the spring, one in the fall, anything else?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I mean I can give a couple if I'll just direct listeners to our Google calendar on our website. Again, that's hersbreastcancerfoundationorg. We're going to be October 7th. Saturday. Shred City in Union City is going to be doing a. They're calling it Shred for a Cure. So basically it is Anyone can bring I think it's up to five boxes full of documents paper. Only Get it shredded for free. They can make a donation and all the proceeds will be coming to hers. There's going to be a barbecue out there. So that's Saturday, october 7th. It's from 9 to 1. Shred City on Whipple Road in Union City we're doing a fundraiser at the Kendra Scott store. That's also on our calendar. That's later in the month. In Walnut Creek Out in the Livermore premium outlets, the Tory Birch outlet is doing a Photoshop. You know, give back shop fundraiser for us. So I think we have a lot going on.Speaker 3:
There's a lot of different things going on.Speaker 2:
Yeah, we're adding more all the time. I would suggest that folks who want to participate in those fundraisers go look at our calendar.Speaker 1:
Yeah, there you go.Speaker 2:
And look, check it every, you know, I would say every few days, because we're adding stuff all the time.Speaker 3:
So it brought you to hers Like how did you, how did you get? Where were you before this? Like what was the world that you were in before you got here?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so I. So I've lived in Fremont since 1991. I I got married, moved down here, had my two kids. Subsequently I got divorced. I ended up just needing to get back into the workforce. So I started volunteering at another great nonprofit here in Fremont called SAVE.Speaker 1:
Alternatives to Violent Environments and I worked my way up from just being a not Jess but being in a volunteer to I did like administrative stuff and then eventually I started helping out with events and fundraisers and I think I was there about nine years and by the end of that I had served as, I think, development director. I had been in that role for about three years, so that was doing major fundraisers, you know, direct mail, fundraising campaigns, events and that sort of thing. And then yeah. So then I was recruited to take on the executive director job here. I didn't think I could do it. My husband, I remarried. My husband told me, no, you should challenge yourself. And so I've been here ever since.Speaker 3:
That's great yeah.Speaker 2:
Yeah, it's been a. Really. I've learned so much, as you know, in a leadership role. It's a totally different, totally different animal, but it's been a great experience, very challenging at times, but very rewarding too.Speaker 3:
How have you personally been affected by like what you do, what this organization does, like when I think there's a, you know there's certainly a desire to be involved in nonprofits that are doing a good thing, but then when you, especially when you're like looking at this particular one, you know, was there anything that particularly caused you to lean into this organization and want to pursue this job, or was it just looking for another way to be able to contribute to a nonprofit world?Speaker 2:
So both.Speaker 3:
So so so I did have a cousin with breast cancer. She actually passed away not all that long ago but and cancer has impacted our family. So, unfortunately, just in general. So I understand that struggle with the illness. I came, as I said, I came from SAVE. Most of our clients there were women. I am also a survivor of domestic intimate partner violence, and so I, and that's really what drew me to SAVE, and so I liked the fact that we were empowering women to feel stronger and to take back control of their lives and are here. So I saw some congruency here, definitely because most of our patients are women and it is also about empowering them just helping them to feel stronger, helping them to feel better about themselves, giving them the products and the services to help them kind of just just feel stronger, feel better about themselves, because it's when you don't it's, it's rough you know, that's just a. It's just a spiral, you know. So we do see patients who come in and I have to say that everybody is at a different place when they come in. There are some patients who are just like all business. They come in here and they're like okay, I'm here, I've had, you know, a mastectomy or a bilateral mastectomy. I need new breasts. This is a, you know, this is how I want to. Yeah, it's just, I know, you know, or they'll be back there. We had a family. They were so sweet. The two sisters came in to support another sister and I had to laugh. My family is a Filipino and there was a three Filipino women and they were all supporting each other and talking, talking talking, and that was beautiful. They were helping their sister choose a wig and to help her feel better about right. And. But we do have patients who come in and they're very sad, or they're angry and it's just like I, you know, and so we have patients who are, you know, struggling just with their emotional health too, and so so, just as at my previous position and just from my personal experience, that's rewarding too to help women feel, maybe help them a little, you know, a little bit, towards feeling just better emotionally too, yeah, yeah.Speaker 3:
That's great. That's great. I think it's a great organization. I think what you're doing is really cool and I have not been in that particular world as far as, like, I don't have anybody super close to me that has gone through that, but I can. I have friends whose families have gone through that and I can just imagine it's a challenge. You know, it's very, very difficult. I mean even some of the things that my family has gone through, where the whatever the illness is or whatever the issue has been is life altering and they're no longer the same person that they were before it. Just it's devastating and gutting you know, and so I imagine what you're doing is just a wonderful thing for people and for those families, for the community in that way. So that's really great. Yeah, thank you for that. Yeah, yeah.Speaker 2:
We are really fortunate we have so much community support and we have volunteers. Perfect example Lisa Stambal. I'm gonna give you a shout out. She's our web admin and she's been with us from day one.Speaker 3:
Oh wow, so that's 25 years. That's great. Did they even have web back then?Speaker 2:
That's great. She actually she came in and set up the computers and she has memories of coming in here and like wiring. Yeah, there's pictures of her. Yeah, but yeah so she. When I came on board, that was one of my first projects was we did a redesign on our website, and so that was a straight donation. I mean even now like for our walk run event page. Almost every day I'm sending her hey, got a new sponsor and she's on it.Speaker 3:
That's great, yeah, so she's a perfect example.Speaker 2:
We have other volunteers who are wonderful about being out in the community. but I don't do this alone. I've got must must give a shout out to our board members. Kirsten Litz has been our board president for a while now and she's my event partner in crime. She's just in it and loves what we do. She's very open about being a survivor herself and she's just right there by my side with anything that we need. You mentioned about the how it resonates in families. I mean, just yesterday, funda Davashola is another board member. She sent me the personal statement that she included on her fundraising page for our walk run because her mom's a survivor and she described it as a blast radius when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. I would imagine any cancer, but that's how it felt for them. It was just like it was the blast radius of the disease. You know, it was just and rushing in to try to help her mom and just devoting a lot of time to her mom and her family and them coming through that. So, yeah, so that statement that she sent me yesterday and she shared that was beautiful, very impactful. And then our team here. You know we have so many individuals who are here not because they have to be, but because they want to be. I mean, you know, nonprofit work it's so often described as a labor of love. It is that, you know it is work that should be honored. And all of our team members here, our breast care specialists. They, of course, provide the direct patient services. So, they're doing the assessments and the fitting, following up with patients, calling them, making sure they're okay, happy with the products that they got, and they're progressing. But you know, I mean the first touch matters. I mean the wonderful staff members that we have who are medical receptionists. You know, they're warm, they're patient with our patients. They're you know warmly welcoming them, or just everyone on the team no matter what their role.Speaker 3:
Yeah, super hard working. Yeah, well, we'll wrap this up, but I'm curious what kind of things do you like to do around Fremont when you're not working at hers?Speaker 2:
Oh, my goodness, I know. Yeah, that's okay. So farmers markets are wonderful. I think we mentioned Niles earlier. Niles is just simply amazing.Speaker 3:
And they've stepped up their farmers market as well recently, and so it's so much better than it was before. Yes, absolutely.Speaker 2:
I would say just the variety of restaurants. I know that you went to D'Afghanin.Speaker 3:
I haven't been there in a while, but their food is just outstanding. We go to movies, we just strolling around our neighborhood.Speaker 3:
I live near Mission, san Jose and or in Mission, san Jose, I should say, and like what's coming up well, yeah, this weekend, this weekend, by the time this episode will be over, by the time this episode will be over Last weekend.Speaker 2:
But yes, Right, but I do have to give Mission San Jose chamber a shout out. You know they're small, but they're really stepping it up and we'll have a booth at the Taste of Summer event and so I would say doing Art Wine Festival. I mean I volunteered at that. I poured wine in those canned cocktails for like eight hours. But just kudos to Cindy over at the chamber and Napoleon and, I think, Lindsay. Matt Lindsay God they just worked so hard. But I would say anything that's non-profit related.Speaker 3:
I'm all about that. That's great. That's great, Very good. Well, Tina has been great having you on the podcast. You did give information how people can find out more about hers already. Give phone number. We'll have all of that in our show notes so people can just click on that and get to where they need to go as well.Speaker 2:
Yeah, thank you.Speaker 3:
Yeah, thanks for the work that you do, and I'm sure that there are people out there who will be listening to this that will know exactly what you're talking about. They've been in this world and more than likely there'll be people listening that you guys have helped, and so just thank you so much for doing that and for being a part of our community, and I hope that your event on September 30th goes very well and, unless I have some conflict, I plan on being there as well.Speaker 2:
Yes, absolutely Join us.Speaker 3:
I would love that Thank you so much, thank you.Speaker 1:
Join us next week on the Fremont podcast.Speaker 3:
This is a Muggins Media podcast.