Britiney's Story

“I never thought that a few days after turning 28, and only six months after getting married, that I would battle a high-grade invasive and aggressive type of breast cancer. My oncology nurse at Walker thought that a young woman like me could benefit from the support that Pink Pearl has to offer. I contacted them right away to learn more. Shortly after joining, I decided that I wanted to attend the organizations summer Family Sailing Day event with my husband. We arrived at the marina in Port Colborne excited to meet the other Pink Pearl participants and their supporters. Right away, we made conversation and met people’s family members, all excited for our sailing adventure together. The sailboat captains (who volunteer their time and boats) all warmly welcomed us all aboard. Very quickly, open dialogues of each of our cancer journeys were being shared. Connections and new friendships formed instantaneously. The supporters soon realized how we were all dealing with similar challenges and obstacles brought on by a loved one being diagnosed with cancer. Sailing on this special Family Sailing Day allowed me to feel like a participant rather than like a patient. This sailing trip provided us with an escape from the hospitals and cancer centres and from the darkness, fear, worry, stress, and physical and mental exhaustion that cancer causes. Instead, our focus was immediately shifted to the brightness of life, freeing our souls to bask in nature, all which helped calm mind and body. The wind blowing against my face and the sun bathing on my body made me feel alive! At one point during the sail, the captain of our boat, Phil, allowed me to steer the vessel. Finally I began to feel a sense of control that cancer had taken away from me. This surreal moment combined with a supportive environment filled with compassion and hope from other Pink Pearl participants and their caregivers, helped give me the strength I needed to continue my cancer journey. After our sailboats docked back at the marina, we all enjoyed a picnic style lunch together under the pavilion. More conversations ensued and additional connections were made with these inspiring women. My husband and I also formed a relationship with our captain and his wife and that friendship still continues to this day. The following summer, my husband and I quickly registered again for the annual Family Sailing Day and we were back on board with the same captain, Phil, from our initial sail! I would highly recommend attending Family Sailing Day as it provided us with a relaxing two-hour sail with fellow supporters who truly “get it”. I felt less alone in navigating through the scary, confusing, and overwhelming cancer world. Thank you to the dedicated team of over 30 volunteers at Pink Pearl for everything you continue to do for us all. I am honoured to be part of this important and amazing organization. I look forward to attending future events with you ladies!” – Britiney Turasz, Program Participant