YSC is an international movement that connects communities of young adults impacted by breast cancer locally, nationally and internationally while providing free educational resources.
Carla Curran, Cristina Maggi, Samantha Neiderman and Michelle Nishanian, of We Fight Like a Girl have all been personally impacted by the disease.
“Every year we invite breast cancer survivors or families of those who have passed to join us. We have music, we have raffles. We raffle off prizes from local businesses all the way through to sporting events, and it’s a really fun night where everyone can just come gather and really get together to fight for a really good cause,” Nishanian said.
Curran, the captain, holds a special place in her heart for YSC as a BRCA-positive previvor herself.
“When I was going through everything with myself, I was trying to find groups or support groups because I was so young. I was 22 when they found a lump,” she said.
Read more about her story here.
“I was 27 when I had my surgery. They were just like a good avenue to follow when I was trying to get help and find other women like me that were going through the same thing, so we just felt that it was time to give back to them,” she said.
According to YSC, for some young adults, it may be a challenge to embrace their new body after breast cancer-related surgery.
Curran was nervous prior to her mastectomy, but was relieved to finally have it removed.
“There was nothing cancerous, so I kind of put that on the backburner and realized my health was a lot more important than appearance,” she said. “My husband actually proposed to me the night before my surgery and that just made it like, ‘You know what? I have someone here that loves me and supports me, and it doesn’t really matter about my appearance.’ What matters is staying healthy and having a happy life with him. I’m very happy, we have two kids and that’s what matters most.”
This will be their third year hosting it at Hudson’s Mill.
“I feel really positive about our efforts to date and I think, you know, not only do we raise more and more money every year, we outdo ourselves every year,” Nishanian said.
Last year, they raised about $13,000.
“They’ve been a phenomenal partner in hosting our event and actually the manager of the restaurant is a breast cancer survivor herself, so there’s a lot of meaning and passion that goes into the event not just from us, but from Hudson’s Mill as well,” she said.
Michele Curran had a lumpectomy after being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and finished treatment in January.
“It’s very personal to me, it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to host it here,” Curran said.“There are so many people around here that are affected by breast cancer or have a family member, so it’s just so nice to have everyone come out and be so supportive.”
According to the New York State Cancer Registry, from 2016 to 2020, there was an average of over 250 cases per year.
“It’s something that we can put our friendships to a greater cause. We’re all really close and this allows us to just do something a little bit more passionate with our friendship and our time,” Nishanian said.
Those interested in donating to support this cause can visit yscchampions.org/fightlikeagirl2023.
You can also check out their Instagram page @wefightlikeagirl.