Cancer survivor is thriving thanks in part to funds raised by Reality Rally for Michelle’s Place

Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Research center, located in Temecula off Jefferson Avenue, offers support groups and resources for women and their families, as well as various fundraisers, such as the upcoming Reality Rally, which donates its profits to the organization each year.

Denise Broome, a woman in her early 40s, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent five months of chemotherapy, two and a half months of radiation therapy and Michelle’s Place is continuing to offer support for her and her family.

Broome described her reaction as similar to most women’s initial reaction to a breast cancer diagnosis as “fear of immediate death.” Struggling with the aftermath of having a double mastectomy, Broome was referred to Michelle’s Place by the American Cancer Society for support, which she now considers “one of the greatest blessings in my life.”

Michelle’s Place creates a community of love and empowerment within their support groups; the women are able to understand and to relate to each other. She arrived at the first meeting feeling insecure and “just wanting to feel like a woman again,” Broome said, but she left her first visit with gently used prosthetics, a wig, resources and “the biggest smile.”

Now she especially advocates for their Free Expressive Art Class, which meets Monday nights and allows even those who aren’t “artsy” to meet women with different stories and share experiences, while using art as therapy. The Look Great, Feel Great program is also important to Broome and other cancer patients, allowing woman to improve their self-esteem and self-image while they undergo chemotherapy or radiation. She recounts how the Pink Ribbon program helped her and her family during the holidays, giving them gift cards for food and baskets with resources.

Without the help from Michelle’s Place, she believes she’d feel much more alone and depressed, instead of feeling like a woman again. Broome visits Michelle’s Place often and sees it as her second home. She is thankful for the love and support they continue to give to her and others, she said.

To learn more about Michelle’s Place, visit www.michellesplace.org.

Reality Rally will be held April 6-8 in Temecula. All funds raised will benefit Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center and will help fund the programming that has helped Broome and women like her through their battle against cancer. To learn more about Reality Rally or to sign up, visit www.realityrally.com.

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