29. October 2019
// Articles & Reports

With colourful joie de vivre against breast cancer

Nadja Will supports women with the "Think Pink Club®"

Nadja Will is already bursting with energy in the morning. The young woman sits in Stiegelmeyer's conference room and talks enthusiastically about the activities of her "Think Pink Club®": talks, canoeing, dancing, yoga, parties. If you happen to enter the room in the middle of the conversation, you might think this is a cool lifestyle project for carefree young people. But in fact, Nadja Will and her comrades-in-arms are pursuing an important goal with "Think Pink": they want to inform women about breast cancer and help sick women to regain courage and strength in a joyful community.

Mrs. Will works in Herford, Germany, as a nurse for anaesthesia and is very well versed in questions of medical care. When, in her mid-30s, she felt a suspicious lump in her breast, she still hesitated to go to her gynaecologist. When she finally dared, the doctor did not take her suspicions seriously at first. Valuable weeks had passed when the diagnosis was made: a particularly aggressive tumour, two and a half centimetres in size. This was followed by treatment with 16 chemotherapies, during which the young mother reached the limits of what was bearable. In the end, she beat the disease.

Loss of personality

Besides the fear of death and the physical misery Nadja Will suffered from the radical loss of her familiar life: "You gets this diagnosis, and everything is gone – the everyday life at work, the social life, one's own personality. Before, I was just Nadja Will, now I was the cancer patient. Nobody knew how to talk to me about the subject, because it is fear-inducing."

Wherever she turned, it was difficult to find life-affirming communication. Info flyers and brochures were "dry and bleak". When it came to concrete support, such as household help, she found the negotiations with the health insurance company mercilessly bureaucratic. "I was so longing for a perspective on life," she says.

"Ladies Talk" and Canoeing

This is exactly what the "Think Pink" platform is supposed to offer. It is about prevention, treatment support and support during rehabilitation. Everyone is welcome, people with other types of cancer as well as relatives seeking advice.
An important offer is the "Ladies Talk for Life®", which takes place regularly in Herford’s Denkwerk and in Bielefeld in the restaurant Allegro Habichtshöhe. The fun-loving meeting wants to be the opposite of a dreary self-help circle: "To convey strength, courage and confidence in a modern and lively way" is the motto of the talks. In addition, the women meet for "Paddle Training for Pink" at the Herford Canoe Club, visit women's flea markets together or go to a partner workshop with horses.

"It's important to have goals," says Nadja Will. She tells the story of a participant who had a very bad time after a relapse. But she absolutely wanted to leave the hospital for a few hours to celebrate her son's birthday at home. Mrs. Will and her comrades-in-arms made this possible and immediately observed a positive change: the woman ate again and walked independently through the ward. On the day of the party the joy was enormous.

Early detection of breast cancer

Prevention and timely diagnosis are just as important as support during the disease. "Nobody needs to die of breast cancer anymore today if it is discovered early," says Nadja Will. So, you can book her for a MammaCare® class where one to four women learn to examine their breasts themselves. "In everyday life, we women prefer to do things together," says Mrs. Will. Breast palpation in the group is also often easier because you are immediately supported in your fear and insecurity. One can book Mrs. Will also for lectures, a photo exhibition or educational parties for cancer prevention, during which she shares her experiences and her positive energy.

A highlight of the pink club history is approaching this week on Wednesday (30 October, starting from 17.30 o'clock): All interested people in the East Westphalia region of Germany are invited to the first talk show in OWL (East Westphalia) in Bielefeld. Renowned physicians inform about the topic breast cancer and are available for questions. There is a lot to discover about yoga, the Bielefeld hospital project "Fruchtalarm" and other offers that support people with a new zest for life.

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