Archive for September, 2021


Pink Ribbon 360

While studies now conclusively show the need for physical exercise during and after breast cancer treatments, many warriors feel too tired to exercise, scared they’ll hurt themselves, or apprehensive about returning to their previous exercise routine. There is often little to no support provided to warriors to help them with this.

In addition, the emotional trauma they feel throughout their journey is rarely discussed, especially the emotional trauma felt after the treatments have stopped.  Providing emotional support is as important as the physical. Sarah Ellery, the founder of My Hope Bag understood this years ago. My Hope Bag is an incredible organization, helping breast cancer warriors to feel understood, provides resources, and helps them throughout their journey. I am honored to be a part of the My Hope Bag newsletter.

Pink Ribbon 360 provides specialized fitness programs to meet the emotional and physical needs of women with breast cancer. The sessions consist of gentle stretches and exercises, meditation, and self-massage techniques. The founder, Teri Friedland is an occupational therapist, certified breast cancer exercise specialist, and fitness instructor. She saw the need to help provide a bridge between treatments or rehab and recovery…supporting survivors to regain independence and feel confident. Pink Ribbon 360 is a private, one-on-one wellness program.  It can take place in person in the metropolitan Phoenix area or online anywhere throughout the country. Feel free to check out their website at:

Below are a few exercises that focus on shoulder blade mobility and stability, as well as chest expansion and shoulder movements. Exercises may progress to include abdominal and lower body strength, as well as resistance exercises. Always check with your doctor before participating in any exercise programs.

Shoulder Rolls:

  1. Back Rolls: Gently and slowly roll the shoulders up, back, and down. *This doesn’t have to be a large movement to be effective. Feel your shoulder blades and chest muscles moving.
  2. Forward Rolls: Gently and slowly roll the shoulders up forward and around.

Seated Shoulder Slides:

  1. Out/In: Reach your arms in front of you with your arms slightly lower than shoulder height. Inhale and draw your shoulder blades together without arching your back while moving your arms to the sides. Exhale and return to center.
  2. Forward/Back: Reach your arms in front of you again, inhale and slide your shoulder blades apart as you feel your fingertips being pulled away from you. Exhale and return to center.

6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Fun was had by all who attended the My Hope Bag 6th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on September 10, 2021.  Many many thanks to Papago Golf Club tournament sponsors, golfers, volunteers, prize donators, and creative minds. It truly does take a village to organize and run an event like this one.

95 golfers donned the beautiful Papago Golf Course “set in the heart of Papago Park, surrounded by the native desert landscape and the picturesque Papago Buttes”. As well, Papago was recently chosen as the home of the men’s and women’s Arizona State University golf team, some of whom golfed in My Hope Bag’s 6th annual charity golf tournament.

So many comments were heard about the beautiful course and the wonderful Papago staff who were available throughout the day. Thank you, Daryl Crawford, and your wonderful Papago crew.

Thank you to Brad Butler, designer of the beautiful Booby Putter.  Brad was available throughout the tournament near the putting green for golfers to test the putter themselves. Brad then donated one of his putters to the tournament honoring his wife who is a breast cancer survivor and for whom he designed the putter.

Morgan Reimler from BackSwing Golf Events added to memories made with a “beat the pro” hole. Golfers had a great time and are hoping we invite BackSwing back to our next golf event.

The awards banquet helped remind all who were present why we have this tournament. Patty Nix spoke about what she went through during her breast cancer journey and what My Hope Bag means to her. Leanne Titus shared how her family came together and rallied around her sister Alissa Serignese when Alissa was experiencing her breast cancer journey. Alissa knows she couldn’t have made it with her own “village”. Patty and Alissa, as well as Leanne, are now volunteers for My Hope Bag wanting to “pay it forward” to women currently battling breast cancer.

A special thank you to all who donated in any way to help us meet our goal. My Hope Bag’s financial goal for this event was to double the net income from the last golf tournament which was $10,000. We are currently $500 short of that goal. Our emcee for the golf tournament, Jarrett Ransom, shared a goal of $25,000. The monies from this event will be going to the My Hope Bag’s Benevolence fund. These funds help breast cancer women with medical co-pays, monthly bills, groceries, gas for treatments, and any other hardship needs as our funds allow.

You can still donate to this effort. Please help us meet our original goal of $20,000. If you can stretch a bit, we can meet the goal of $25,000. This will be an amazing addition to the already met goal. You can donate in honor or in memory of a breast cancer warrior you know. You can do this at

Thank you all again.  Couldn’t make it this year?  Watch for information on next year’s tournament.

Hope Is In The Bag


By Sarah Ellery and Sally Marks

Published in the Jewish News, September 13, 2021

A friend of mine has breast cancer. She is one of many women I’ve known who have suffered from this disease. Fortunately, it was caught in time, and with the aggressive treatment, she will survive.

Many are not so lucky.

Some 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Those are frightening statistics. However, in the Jewish community, the statistics indicate a gloomier scenario. Women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (Eastern European descent) are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer due to the high prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) inherited gene mutations. This type of breast cancer attacks younger women and is more deadly than the breast cancer found in older women. Many develop this cancer before the age of 40, which is the recommended age for a baseline mammogram.

That is one reason even young women, especially young, Jewish women, should learn how to do a self-breast exam and schedule an annual exam with their obstetrician/gynecologist. Those with Ashkenazi heritage should be even more vigilant. Mothers in our community are advised to tell their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters of this risk.

Detecting breast cancer when it is early in the process is optimal. However, women with breast cancer (regardless of age or ancestral heritage) need support. Fortunately a local non-profit, My Hope Bag can help.

When diagnosed with breast cancer, one may have a plethora of thoughts from “who will take care of my children” to “how will we pay for all the treatments”? Those are normal thoughts but having an annual mammogram can help reduce one’s probability of assuming the disease. A mammogram is like an X-ray of the breast. It can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor can be felt by you or your doctor. Many are diagnosed two to three years into the tumor’s growth.  What could have been a lighter diagnosis may be more severe because of a missed mammogram.

After diagnosis, questions explode regarding what to do next. There are many nonprofits that can help with specific areas of concern My Hope Bag is an organization that directs the newly diagnosed breast cancer warrior (bc warrior) to My Hope Bag’s extensive resource guide. The bc warrior is visited by a My Hope Bag “Hope Sister” who engages in conversation regarding the bc warrior’s diagnosis and needs. The Hope Sister gifts the bc warrior with a beautiful pink tote bag filled with many comfort items including the resource guide. The bc warrior has a friend for life and the Hope Sister keeps in touch until the bc warrior has completed her treatments. Strong bonds are formed from these friendships.  Many of the breast cancer warriors wish to “pay it forward” and become volunteers themselves.

During her treatments, the bc warrior may contact My Hope Bag for needs including groceries, gas cards to assist with getting to treatments, medical co-pays, and even family outings when available. My Hope Bag also provides the cost of a screening mammogram for those who qualify. A future goal of My Hope Bag is to open a respite center for those going through breast cancer treatments to have a place to relax, sip on coffee or tea, and visit with other survivors in the non-intimidating comfort of those with whom they can relate.

Whether you received a breast cancer diagnosis, know someone with breast cancer, or are simply someone who wants to donate funds or become a sponsor, there are many ways to help. My Hope Bag invites you to view their website,, or write to, for further information or to request a Hope Bag.