In the News
Alumnae Association of Smith College — 2011
Girlfriends Health Guide — May 2009
Yoga Chicago — 2009 Review
Yoga Chicago — 2009 Profile
Girlfriends Health Guide
Issue: May 2009
Making Strides (Cancer)
One out of every three women and half of all men in America will hear the words, “you have cancer,” in their lifetime. With numbers this high, Elesa Commerse asserts, “We live in a cancer nation.” Commerse is the founding President of Forever Whole, the non-profit organization dedicated to helping alleviate suffering and creator of the breakthrough DVD/CD program for breast cancer survivors called, “Finding Your Way.” When Elesa heard these words several years ago, she wasn’t surprised. She lost her Mother to breast cancer and was aware of her risks. In fact, she was the one who discovered the thickening in her breast through self-breast examination. Elesa encourages all GIRLFRIENDS to, “get to know your breasts.” Get to know what they feel and look like. Same time, same place is best. Pick a date, say five days after your period or the first of the month if you’re menopausal, and palpate and look closely at your breasts – in the same mirror. Respond immediately to any changes you notice as early detection saves lives.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last few years or you know someone who has, review a copy of “Finding Your Way,” Over nine hours of cutting edge information is provided by seven of the nation’s top subject matter experts. Topics range from: how to better understand your diagnosis; how nutrition and lifestyle choices impact breast cancer outcomes; how to regain range of motion through physical therapy; how acupuncture can help with symptom relief; how to maintain your peace of mind through meditation, how to reintegrate into your body through yoga and how to stay informed about lymphedema. This stunningly beautiful piece is easy to understand and infused with exquisite, soothing nature images and sounds. There are also encouraging survivor stories, in English and Spanish, including one by Elesa’s grandmother, a breast cancer survivor who just turned 100!
Elesa is an internationally known meditation teacher who is headquartered in Chicago. To learn more about her, log onto www.thedeepcalm.com. To learn more about “Finding Your Way,” log onto http://www.ForeverWhole.org. Through successful fundraising efforts, and the generosity of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health and the Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation, Forever Whole has distributed over 3,000 copies of “Finding Your Way,” for free, to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients throughout Illinois. Women in need of “Finding Your Way” should contact their local hospital, clinic or support group and ask for “Finding your Way.” Elesa wants all GIRLFRIENDS to know that we are not in total control of what comes our way. But we can control our response. She emphasizes that we should never be afraid to be in our bodies or our minds. We should all realize how precious and fragile life is; that we will not live forever, and that to honor God, we must make the most of this and every moment.
W. Leighton Haynes
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