June is National Cancer Survivor month and local non-profit Shay’s Warriors is preparing to host its inaugural survivors retreat.
The organization's founder and executive director, Shay Moraga, explained that the retreat marks the latest addition to a wide array of tools and resources the organization offers women experiencing life after cancer.
Finishing cancer treatment for Moraga herself was a joyous milestone coupled with uncertainty. "I no longer connected with people prior, and then i didn’t know what my life was going to be like going forward,” she reflected.
Moraga would eventually turn her battle into the bedrock of a support network called Shay’s Warriors in 2018.
It grabbed the attention of other survivors, like Angela Prescott, who said she knew right away she had to get involved with the volunteer-run group.
Even after she was told she was cancer free, Angela struggled to move forward in life.
"The doctor said ok we’ll see you later, we’ll see you in 3 months and then I was thinking ok so I’ve had all this support – now what?” said Prescott.
She was not alone thanks to resources offered by Shay’s Warriors.
“We have something called Talk, Listen, Share. It's an in-person and a virtual emotional support group,” said Moraga.
The group also gets together for physical activities, including running or yoga.
It was actually a yoga retreat in Malibu that Shay went on after beating cancer that inspired her to put on something similar.
“As I got home, I pulled out a little card that says I am hope, and that is something that an artist gave us as a parting gift at the retreat, and I looked at it and I’m like that’s it," Moraga recalled.
That same message of hope also inspired a colorful mural located at The Gardens on El Paseo.
It features different colored ribbons representing the different types of cancer.
Survivors, and those who know survivors, who walk by are encouraged to share their story, similarly to the the 25 women who were nominated and selected to attend Shay’s Warriors retreat on June 24-26, at no cost to them.
Tune into News Channel 3 tonight at 6:00 p.m. for details on what this organization has set as one of its main goals, and how you can get involved in that effort.