WHAT WE OFFER
BAYS offers monthly support group meetings with free childcare, an active online network, and community-building events for young women with breast cancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Community-building events have included social events like hikes, picnics, holiday parties, and work days at the BAYS Memorial Garden at Dorothy Erskine Park, in addition to book readings and working the annual San Francisco Pride parade. They have also included educational events on reiki and healing touch therapy, medical marijuana, lymphedema, and physical intimacy after cancer.
BAYS also offers a special support group called Mets in the City (MITC) for members with metastatic breast cancer.
In our support group and online community, BAYS members share some issues that are common to all people with cancer and others that are unique to young women with breast cancer. These issues include, but are not limited to, treatment options, doctor/patient relationships, side effect management, body image after surgery/treatment, dating/relationships/sex, early menopause/loss of fertility, reproductive/parenting options, caring for young children, career path, recurrence/progression, life after treatment/the new normal, death and dying, and thriving and surviving.
Two women, Angela Padilla and Deb Mosley co-founded BAYS in 2003, after both were diagnosed with breast cancer. They had each tried going to support groups at their local hospitals, but they were always the youngest person in the room--often by several decades. Angela even brought her infant to support groups in those early days of her diagnosis, making it clear that younger women with breast cancer face unique issues. Angela and Deb held the very first BAYS support group meeting in Deb's apartment. They invited other young women they met in the chemo infusion centers and radiation waiting rooms, and word of the new group spread quickly. Within months, Deb's living room became a haven for dozens of young women facing breast cancer and its aftermath, and the BAYS online network lit up with activity.
BAYS has grown to over 475 members since it founding. Deb died of metastatic breast cancer in 2008; she is one of our over 50 members who have died from the disease. Angela is still an active member in the BAYS community.
BAYS members share three core principles:
We respect one another’s diversity.
~ Our members have a range of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences.
We respect one another’s choices.
~Our members listen with compassion and without judgment.
We respect one another’s privacy.
~Our members hold all communications in complete confidence.
For more information about BAYS and our finances, please see our Profile through Guide Star.
BAYS is a support group and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.