Dear Charlene and Jane…..
My name is Kathy and I came to your house back in February for the first time for my first “Cancer Meeting” with one of your members of whom I also met for the first time becuz she works with my husband who also has been diagnosed with “MS”!! : (   So between that and myself having been thru 2 Cancer Ops  and hopefully now am free of that dang disease.. but still should go back for checkups… and then my son going thru his tuff luck of Aspergers Syndrome… (Autism) its definitely a tuff road for me to endure every day of my livelihood and I never know what I’m going to expect from day to day!!
That first meeting I went to at your home .. was certainly and eye opener for me as I never in a million years expected to see so many women there who are going thru so much trauma with this Cancer thing…I was in pretty much of an “awesome” and “inspiring” feeling  … it just caught me by surprise and to have someone like yourselves to open your door/s  all the time  to all those women… I guess is definitely an “inspiration” to all those affected and thank you and God Bless You for doing all of this work to make all these cancer patients have a little bit of meaning in their lives!!!!
So  I guess I will be heading on over to the next meeting in hopes that it will give me a little  bit of a ‘pick me upper’  for what I am going thru in my life and to know I’m not the only one facing such problems and hoping I can just deal with things here a bit better than I have been.. because it is a bit overwhelming at times… and leaves me looking up and asking…. “why……what did I ever do to deserve all this dang turmoil”…?    I need more  strength and hopefully thru all the women out there.. who is going thru problems such as mine.. it will eventually help and or give me something  so I can at least be a little bit more “hopeful” than I have been!!!!
Kathy, 2013

Hi Mary Beth-
It’s so weird that I just stumbled on your email. The reason I say it’s weird is because I am actually going thru a ” breast scare” as we speak. 2 Friday’s ago, I went to have a yearly mammogram. Last week, they called and said they saw something and that I needed to come back and have more tests. My heart just fell. Last Friday, I went for the tests. Anyway, here I sit until they call me and tell me. I have looked at your calendar so often. All the smiles. I swear, it was meant to be that I have that calendar. . . . It actually is scary in a way, to hear how prolific the disease is, and how you don’t have to have a history in your family to get it, etc, but at the same time, it’s very hopeful. Like, you can still live if you have it. Anyway, I want you to know, that even though you are not here, your spirit is. Who knew a calendar could harness so much power — here I thought it was just a tool that told you what day it was 🙂
Love, Carla


I have been diagnosed with breast cancer twice, The first time in 2003 I got through it with the love and support of my friends and family. Second time around in Aug of 2009 they where there for me again, but it was the Beyond Boobs! group that helped me soar. One day I came home from seeing Dr. Z, my plastic surgeon, who had said, “Today you are calling Beyond Boobs.” I knew I needed more. In tears I called Mary Beth and in 5 minutes she was sitting on the end of my bed crying and laughing with me and I have never looked back since.
Much love, Elaine W, 2011


Do you know what it means to me to come to a meeting and not have to be afraid to say what’s on my mind, that people understand and I don’t have to explain it.
Kelly B, Southside, 2011


I found you when I needed you most! BB has inspired me on my road through survivorship. Thank you for the love & support in my continual healing heart; body & soul! I love you all!
Charlene, 2012



At the January General Membership Meeting of the Junior League of Hampton Roads, Inc., we certainly were treated to an enlightening presentation from the Co-founders of Beyond Boobs!, Rene Bowditch and Mary Beth Gibson, about breast health. The 75+ members in attendance enthusiastically listened to the importance of proper breast health care, how younger women are being afflicted by breast cancer and hence the need for support groups that can provide comfort and outlets for these survivors. We learned of the inception of Beyond Boobs! and how their group has come together not only to support one another but how their “can-do” spirit led them to create the A Calendar To Live By as an educational and inspirational tool that benefits anyone wishing for a healthier outlook.

Our members TRULY listened, not out of politeness but because their attention was captured by these dynamic women and their message. There was an energy in the room that created laughter and tears that will cause our members to take their own breast health and that of family and friends more seriously. Rene and Mary Beth graciously answered questions and encouraged all of us to be persistent and vigilant in pursuing any health concerns.

I hope more women have the opportunity to hear this powerful presentation and utilize the wonderful calendar!

Whitney O
JLHR President