Back in the Swing - Retail Therapy

October 1, 2009 (LOMBARD, Ill.) "To donate to the organization, shoppers simply buy a Yorktown gift card and 100 percent of the service fee goes to Back in the Swing organization," said Lindsey Burke, marketing director, Yorktown Center.

Dozens of shops and restaurants will offer discounts and special offers during the month of October. Shoppers can purchase the cards at the mall's information center, where they will also get a list of participating retailers.

Back in the Swing Retail Therapy started in Kansas City. It's the brainchild of Barb Unell, a breast cancer survivor who was looking for a post treatment plan when none really existed.

"After my breast cancer 11 years ago, I asked a very simple question - now what? Now what do I do, to get back into health, what do I eat, strengthen my immune system, how do I protect my health moving forward? And I could find no answers," said Unell.

Unell took it upon herself to talk to health care providers and help identify these post-treatment programs. The next step was to raise money to fund them. The first back in the swing shopping event in Kansas City had one shopping center and 38 stores. They're now up to 43 centers and more than 900 stores.

Chicago is the first location outside of Kansas City to launch back in the swing. Proceeds will help fund new and existing breast cancer survivorship programs.

"It's critical to provide support for people throughout their cancer journey and clearing with there being more survivors than ever in the Chicago area, this has been an area that's been overlooked," said LauraJane Hyde, CEO, Gilda's Club Chicago.

"Succeed" is a new program at Northwestern, using a personalized treatment summary and care plan.

"We focus on diet, exercise, bone health, cardiovascular health by bringing this multidisciplinary approach to the survivor," said Dr. Vincent Cryns, director, Succeed, Northwestern.

The integrated medicine program at Rush offers medical services to treat the mind, body and spirit of breast cancer survivors.

"Acupuncture, massage, yoga, nutritional concealing, they're the ones most likely to asking their oncologists, what can I do to help and aide in my recovery," said Janine Gauthier, PhD, director, Cancer Integrated Medicine, Rush.

With nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors nationally, the founders of Back in the Swing hope to expand their mission of healthy living - after breast cancer to a national level.


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