|Stephanie Getz, fouonder of the
Young Survival Coalition Cincinnati Chapter
Surviving breast cancer hasn’t been a solo endeavor for Stephanie Getz. She says she’s now surviving and thriving thanks to her family, friends and a strong online support network.
In 2012, Getz was diagnosed with breast cancer and while undergoing chemotherapy she realized there was a gap in getting the necessary information she needed. “I spent over $1,000 on wigs because I didn’t know of any resources,” she explains.
Getz joined a massage therapy study for patients, and there, she met massage therapist Cheryl Smith. “The time I spent with Cheryl were priceless moments because it allowed me ask all the questions I had,” says Getz. “Doctors and nurses are afraid to answer questions without being speculated especially because there is no black and white with cancer.”
While undergoing treatment, her mother and sister encouraged Getz to create a “Team Stephanie” Facebook page to keep family and friends updated on her progress. What began as a small following grew to include followers around the globe reaching out to Getz for advice. “Younger women needed a support system to learn from people who have been in the same situation,” she explains.
During the most difficult time of her recovery, Getz used her posts as a way to heal and encourage others, with inspirational messages such as, “You can do one of two things, you can get down or choose to embrace it and do good with it.” As a result, she built quite the following and knew she was onto something. “Every week, women around the world sent me messages of their progress,” Getz recalls.
Inspired by the interest and growing momentum of her Facebook page, Getz, a former Ben-Gal cheerleader, decided to help start the Cincinnati Chapter of the Young Survival Coalition, a national organization dedicated to educating and aiding young women diagnosed with cancer.
Today, Getz has been cancer-free since March 5, 2013, and the Young Survival Coalition Cincinnati Chapter currently has 41 members since Getz launched it in March 2014. Its mission is to “create a support group where young women can come for support and answers,” according to Getz. The group also helps young women with food assistance, ways to obtain free wigs, and resources to care for their children.
“Many of the young women are so consumed with the fact that they have cancer and trying to figure out what to do next,” Getz says. As part of the mission, the Young Survival Coalition conducts “Meet Ups” every two weeks at the Cancer Support Community in Blue Ash. The meetings are often informal and include roundtable meetings or a physical activity.
For more information on the Young Survival Coalition group, meetings, and ways to provide support, email Stephanie Getz at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her “Team Stephanie” Facebook page. You can also visit her website at www.stephanie-getz.com and read her inspirational blog “When the Going Getz Tough.”