Image Reborn offering a new Life After Breast Cancer | ParkRecord.com
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Image Reborn offering a new Life After Breast Cancer

Melissa Zamarin, Record contributing writer

Hardships in life occur in many different ways and are unexpected, and there is nothing more unexpected than being diagnosed with an illness like cancer, specifically breast cancer. The life-altering event encompasses physical, emotional, and mental changes and challenges that can be frightening and unforeseen. Today, there are over two million women living with breast cancer in the United States.

Many organizations have gone to great lengths to assist women with the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer and locally in Park City the non-profit organization Image Reborn is dramatically changing women’s lives.

Image Reborn is a non-profit organization that provides relaxing weekend retreats for women with breast cancer. The group was established in 2000 by Dr. Renato Saltz, a plastic surgeon practicing in Park City and Salt Lake City.

Two-time breast cancer survivor Donna Creighton is the executive director for Image Reborn and plays a large role in networking around the Park City community to organize the retreats. She explains that the weekend retreats create a safe and peaceful environment where women can come together and help each other live beyond breast cancer. Creighton attended an Image Reborn retreat in 2000 and has been involved ever since.

The stress of being diagnosed with breast cancer becomes overwhelming when mixed with daily life. Image Reborn is able to provide women with a weekend away in the majestic setting of the Park City mountains where they can socialize in a safe environment with other women. "When diagnosed with breast cancer many women feel very isolated," says Creighton adding, Image Reborn creates a community, a connection.

When asked why Park City works so well for the retreats, Creighton offers this: "It takes time to establish all of the connections it takes to provide a retreat and Park City is just a great place for women to get away and have some self care."

According to Creighton, "When you have cancer you become apart of a secrete sorority, whether you like it or not." Image Reborn, she says, is a program for survivors by survivors, which creates a welcoming setting where, "Saying I know how you feel has meaning and truth to it."

Along with the social networking that is created by Image Reborn, the women have access to everything they need to have a wonderful weekend. The women can take yoga classes, eat meals prepared by a private chef that is able to accommodate to their dietary needs, indulge in spa services, journaling classes, and opportunities to meet and talk with doctors.

An important aspect of the retreat provided by Image Reborn is that the women are able to have an informal session with doctors, surgeons, and fertility experts. The forum to discuss personal medical issues with a doctor is often non-existent due to time tables and the rigidity of a hospital setting. Women at the retreat are able to get the medical questions they have about their condition answered in a safe and personal environment. The peace of mind and comfort that the medical information gives the women attending the retreat is priceless.

Image Reborn is able to provide all these opportunities to women with no cost. The retreats are funded by generous private donations, their annual fundraiser, Celebration of Life, donations of time by professionals, and involvement with other cancer awareness fundraising events that take place throughout the year.

The 9th annual Celebration of Life fundraiser for Image Reborn is this Saturday, Sept. 27 . The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. A silent auction and cocktail hour will be followed by dinner, a live auction, and dancing with the Joe Muscolino Orchestra. The theme for this year’s fundraiser is ‘Singing in the Rain,’ a saying that not only speaks volumes to cancer survivors.

Over eight years, Image Reborn has expanded from hosting only four retreats in 2000 to 14 in 2008. The non-profit has also expanded to include retreats for Latina women, young survivors between the ages of 20-39 years of age, and metastatic breast cancer patients. Image Reborn has already helped over 1,000 women in all stages of the disease regain a positive sense of self and identity.

Image Reborn hopes to encourage women to reclaim their sense of personal power along with treating the mind, spirit, and body. Creighton says that the most rewarding aspect of Image Reborn is, "Being able to accommodate each woman and hearing that they stay in touch and remain connected after the retreat."

To find out more information about Image Reborn and how to attend the 9th annual fundraiser Celebration of Life Creighton can be reached at 435-658-1715.


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