BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer but they don’t have to go through it alone.
"You go through all different types of stages when you have cancer. You know, it's kind of like grief and this group is able to be there for you in every single stage," said Katie Haught.
Katie is a member of the Young Survival Coalition in Bakersfield.
“It’s a sisterhood," she said.
Katie was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2018.
“There [were] many, many times in my life where I was just very angry and upset about it," she said. "But getting together with the girls has just completely turned that around. There's no way I could be angry and upset about being a part of a group like this."
YSC is a support group for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"When my treatment ended and I was diagnosed as triple negative, there's [no] treatment after. You have the highest recurrence and death rates among all the breast cancers, so that was really scary for me," said Nena Thornburg.
Nena said the group is a place where she can get support and talk about anything.
“Things that you wouldn’t ask other people because they just wouldn’t understand. You know, it’s just a place to vent sometimes," she said.
Jamie Barta joined the group in 2018 after finishing treatment. Jamie’s family lost her mom to cancer so her kids were scared when she was diagnosed.
YSC has given her whole family a place where they’re understood.
“They were with me every stage but this is the better part to see that we're getting together and we're celebrating our lives," said Jamie.
Several of YSC's members are participating in the Tour de Pink Bike Ride this October in Ventura. Each rider raises at least $1,000 to participate.
“This is my way of just beating cancer all over again and I want to do it in remembrance of the sisters that we have lost," said Katie.
The ride will mark three years since Nena’s diagnosis.
“What better way to celebrate this milestone than to help raise money for YSC that has meant so much to me," said Nena.
Jennifer Heatherly joined YSC in January. She drives up from San Diego for their monthly get-togethers.
“It can be isolating and feel like other people just don't really get what you're going through and when you're in this community, [they] get it," said Jennifer.
She said the group has made all the difference and she encourages others to seek out the support too.
“Life doesn’t end. Life still continues to go on so you really just [have to] jump on the carousel and ride it," said Jennifer. "Live life and enjoy it. This group will totally show you how."
If you’re interested in donating to their Tour de Pink fundraising, click here.
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