Breast Cancer Survivor empowerment at retreat - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Breast Cancer Survivor empowerment at retreat

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
Helen Carter, cancer survivor (Source Rhonda Spinks) Helen Carter, cancer survivor (Source Rhonda Spinks)

WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE, OK (KSWO) - As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to an end, a group of survivors are facing fears and empowering each other this weekend out at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The "Resilience Nature Retreat for Cancer Survivors" is a special getaway, planned by a breast cancer survivor. The group will kayak, hike, shoot bow and arrows, and experience nature after experiencing hospitals and doctors for so long.

The participants, who have come from all over Oklahoma, are all breast cancer survivors

Tammy Jo Lamberson, a breast cancer survivor, got ready for a 40-minute hike up a mountain, and to rappel down it.

"This is another thing, I'm going to try to overcome my fears, and I will do this,” said Lamberson. “Today. And today only.”

She and the other survivors have a weekend full of new experiences out at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Rhonda Spinks is a health and wellness coach to cancer survivors, and a survivor herself. She ran with the idea to get a group of survivors out in nature as part of their continuing recovery.

"It's just wanting to get back out,” said Spinks. “So cancer was one thing, but you want to continue to live your life."

Gynger Roberts, who is a two-and-a-half-year survivor, came out his weekend wanting to do everything, because she knows that cancer takes a lot out of the patient.

"You lose your hair, you're weak, you don't feel good about yourself, you have low self-esteem,” said Roberts. “You don't want to go anywhere. So, when you finally start getting it back, and are given an opportunity like this, it empowers you. And it just makes you feel so grateful."

Spinks says as a survivor herself, that cancer makes you feel powerless. She says this weekend she wants to help others build back that power.

"So being able to come out here and do challenges like this, face your own mountain per se, and push through it,” said Spinks. “And again you need help and support and encouragement, and that's why we have a group of survivors verses just an individual out here. And we are going to be at the bottom of that mountain, you know, cheering that person on, and letting them know that you can do it.

This is something Spinks wants to continue to do every year. She wants to open it up to other cancer survivors as well. Visit her website here to get more information on any future retreats.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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