Fitness fundraiser to benefit Bright Pink: sweat, study, support

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WENDY CITY MOM: the parenting column.

Sara Wool has a story that rings true and familiar for many of us: multiple women in her family had cancer — not all survived.

“My special grandmas and aunts battled breast and ovarian cancer,” said Wool. “For many years they fought this horrible disease with tremendous strength; one of my Grandmas and two special Aunts lost their battles with cancer.”

The women in Wool’s life didn’t know about the BRCA mutation, which is a mutation in either of the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 — mutations in these tumor suppressor genes can generate a hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome in affected families.

“They would be proud to know that with vigilant surveillance and preventative surgery we can win the war,” said Wool. “Upon learning that I too carry the BRCA gene, with two small children in tow, I underwent extensive preventative surgeries; I did this for my children, for myself and for my family.”

Wool’s proactive resolution to undergo a double mastectomy was not taken lightly and she consulted with her doctors at length prior to making her decision. Now, she has joined the inspiring Bright Pink community, the only national non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and supporting women about prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support for high-risk individuals.

“Bright Pink has given me a close-knit community of friends,” said Wool. “I am proud to help organize our FabFest Team Fundraiser for Bright Pink in honor of my Grandmas and my Aunts. I have benefited from the Bright Pink outreach group meetings and from taking part in Bright Pink’s Pink Pal Program to help other women who are going through similar situations. It feels good to give back to the Bright Pink community that gave so much to me.”

Wool will join other local health-conscious women to host a fundraiser for Bright Pink, sponsored by NorthShore Health Systems, Shrink Session, Joy of the Game, UrbanSitter.com and Whole Foods.

“We are thrilled to bring a morning of pink fun and awareness to the women of our wonderful community!” said Wool. “At our event, women will hear a NorthShore Heath System women’s health physician speak on ways to be proactive with your breast and ovarian health. Our community will be energized at Joy of the Game by the fun Shrink Session Workout and the sounds of A-Z Entertainment. They will enjoy healthy snacks and receive fantastic pink giveaways!”

New York City-based fitness expert and life coach, Erin Stutland, will lead a vigorous, inspiring and fun workout at the Bright Pink event.

“I have a personal connection to Bright Pink because my mom is an ovarian and breast cancer survivor who also carries the BRACA gene,” said Stutland. “I am passionate about helping with the education of women around the topic. One way I know keeps the risk of any cancer down is exercise and keeping a low stress life. The workout I created does both in one.”

On May 9 at 9:30 a.m., join Wool and Stutland at Deerfield’s Joy of the Game at 158 S. Waukegan Rd. for this open-to-the-public special fitness fundraiser. For more information, to purchase a $25 ticket or to make a donation to Bright Pink, please visit: http://shrinkbrightpink.eventbrite.com/.

“On the surface, Shrink Session is about getting your sweat on with a challenging workout,” said Stutland. “But really, it’s about “shrinking” the negative, self-defeating thoughts in your mind (not just “shrinking” your waistline). When you can minimize that kind of fear-based negative thinking, life takes on a whole new, joyful meaning. And hey, you look great too. Nobody minds that. It’s truly a perfect fit for Bright Pink.”