In our most recent #EvervioletChats, we sat down with Nancy Davidson, the Executive Director of The Foundation for Living Beauty – an organization that provides free support services to women living with cancer through wellness retreats, educational workshops and support events. Nancy has worked in the non-profit space for the past 30 years and feels honored to have been engaged with Living Beauty for the past three. “To see the joy in the eyes of women during such a difficult time is so moving, and I feel humbled that they are allowing me to share their journey.” Living Beauty accepts women in all stages of cancer and strives to improve their quality of life through an array of restorative modalities and experiences. Programs provide safe opportunities for women to meet others facing similar challenges, and these relationships often blossom into priceless support networks and deep sisterhood. To learn what prompted the founder to start Living Beauty, how cancer has touched Nancy’s life personally and why we’re so excited about the Living Beauty X Everviolet partnership and upcoming Fashion Show on September 27, read on.
What prompted your founder to begin the foundation?
Living Beauty’s Founder, Amie Satchu, was moved to create the foundation when her mother, Joni, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2005. Amie discovered that there were not many services available to support women with cancer and created Living Beauty in an effort to support her mother and her mother’s friends, who also had cancer. Although it started as a “feel good” organization, it quickly evolved into a wellness organization that, today, provides services and education to nearly 800 women with cancer. Although Joni ultimately lost her battle, she remains as a shining light for the organization.
Tell us about Living Beauty. What do you love about being a nonprofit?
Living Beauty is an amazing organization that accepts women wherever they are in their journey and strives to make a difference in their healing and quality of life. Through wellness retreats and educational opportunities, Living Beauty provides women with cancer the opportunity to experience a wide array of healing modalities, like Yoga 4 Cancer, guided meditation, sound healing, nutrition, healing through art and music and more. Even more importantly, Living Beauty events provide women an opportunity to bond together with other women along the same path, creating a sisterhood of support that changes their lives.
What I love most about nonprofit organizations is the opportunity people have to show that they care. Every day, people come to us and say “How can I help?” Because everything we do for our women is free of charge, donations are critical. But it’s not just about money. People feel moved to support us by donating products and services, volunteering their time and telling other women about what we do. It's partnerships like the one we have with Everviolet and our upcoming fashion show that provides women with cancer the opportunity to be brave and fierce in life (or the runway!). Our living beauties will be showcasing Everviolet's beautiful lingerie and loungewear designed to nurture changes in women’s bodies due to illness or aging.
How has cancer touched your personal life and career?
In my own life, my mother had breast cancer, and my sister is currently going through treatment for breast cancer. I feel blessed that I am in a place where I can provide her, and hundreds of other women, the opportunity to find support and sisterhood during a very difficult time. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
What does Living Beauty mean to you?
Truly, Living Beauty has changed my life in so many ways. I have been in nonprofit management for more than 30 years, and feel that everything I have done before brought me to this. To see the joy in the eyes of women during such a difficult time is so moving, and I feel humbled that they are allowing me to share their journey.
This is an exciting time for Living Beauty. We are growing, and providing new opportunities for women with cancer. We are a small team of four dedicated women, but in 2020, we will provide nearly 50 opportunities for women with cancer to learn, to feel empowered and supported, and to develop relationships with other women along the same path. That’s a pretty incredible feeling.
How does one become a Living Beauty?
Living Beauty serves women with any type of cancer, at any point in her journey. All of our events and services are free. To become a living beauty, a woman can visit our website at www.livingbeauty.org and click “become a living beauty.”
What are some supportive services that Living Beauty offers to women with cancer?
Living Beauty’s signature events are our overnight retreats, providing women an opportunity to get away from their daily lives and experience wellness and self-care. We also offer day retreats, like Heart Healing, Blooming Mindfulness, and others, focusing on one aspect of healing. Our educational seminars range from nutrition to empowering skincare, to cannabis and its role in cancer treatment and more. Sisterhood events are opportunities for our women to get together on a social basis and bond. Living Beauty also provides complimentary Wellness Kits to women undergoing chemotherapy. Our Wellness Kits are full of amazing products donated by our sponsors, designed to provide a little love and care when women need it most.
Can you tell us a little bit about the wellness retreats?
Our Serenity Yoga Retreat is three days of restorative yoga through Yoga 4 Cancer, a specialized program targeting the needs of women with cancer, which was developed by one of our Living Beauties. Our Goddess Wellness Retreat, sponsored by Weleda Skincare, is a four-day retreat offering a host of healing modalities for women. Both of these retreats are free of charge to our Living Beauties. We seek out beautiful settings for our retreats in order to provide our Living Beauties with the best opportunity for peace and self-care. Without exception, women return from these retreats uplifted, rested, restored and ready to tackle whatever comes next.
What advice or words of wisdom would you offer to a woman who is newly diagnosed with cancer?
Reach out to Living Beauty! You are not alone. There are thousands of women who have been in your shoes and want to help support you. Through them, you will see that there is hope, there is joy and there is life after healing.
Do you have any exciting new collaborations, events or projects coming up that you could share with us?
We are so excited about our partnership with Everviolet and our Beauty of Change: Celebrating Women Luncheon and Fashion Show on September 27. This event brings together Everviolet's beautiful collection with empowered models who are proud to walk down the runway with their post-cancer bodies. This event also includes a shopping gallery of women-owned businesses who are giving back to support these women. In addition, we are proud to have talented singer Mandy Harvey as part of the event. Mandy is a singer who lost her hearing and taught herself how to sing again. She portrays a strong message of thriving through adversity and typifies the women Living Beauty serves every day.
Where can we go to donate or volunteer?
To donate and support these amazing women, you can visit our website at www.livingbeauty.org/donate. Your gift will help make a difference in the life of a woman with cancer. If you would like to volunteer your time or services, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you. Our number is (888) 501-0777, or you can reach out to me directly at email@example.com.