Grace Baptist Church is hosting a special event which could both inspire and move people.
Guest speaker Feather Janz will share her personal story in her presentation called My Journey Thru Breast Cancer.
Janz is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her first diagnosis came in Abbotsford when she was just 23 years old.
Her experience transformed her into an advocate and spokesperson who wanted to raise awareness.
For the next few years she became a familiar face on the public speaking circuit, sharing her story with groups across Canada. She wanted to emphasize that breast cancer can strike at any age and that early detection is crucial.
Janz directed much of her discussion toward high school girls, promoting the importance of monthly breast self-exams.
“I wanted to alleviate some of the fear involved with breast cancer. I wanted to educate people that you can recover,” said Janz.
But that doesn’t mean you can be complacent, she added.
Twelve years after first being diagnosed, Janz, then 35, had to face her second battle with the disease.
Once again, she won.
Now 39 and a mother of two, Janz is determined to expose and defeat this deadly foe. Her goal is to both motivate and educate people about breast cancer.
“I think my vision has changed a little bit, since I first started.
Now that she has two daughters of her own, Janz says she often wishes they could live in a world without the threat of breast cancer.
Janz knows that one in eight women in B.C. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and she said it is the number one killer of women age 35-49.
That’s why education is so important.
Now working in the child care industry, Janz said she meets a lot of young mothers, some even recognize her.
“One mom came up to me and asked me if I was the same Feather who talked at her high school, 10 years ago,” said Janz
“She still remembered what I said.”
She gets a lot of positive feedback from her talks, which is why she continues to tour.
One of her many lessons that she share is life goes on after the disease.
“I refer to myself as a survivor, but I don’t feel that I live my life in survivor mode.”
Her talks often mix humour with the facts on the disease. She does it to set people at ease.
“A lot of women tell me they were nervous coming. That they would get depressed.”
But afterward, many of them thank her for sharing her story.
Janz will speak on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church, 949 3rd Ave. Hope. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and lunch and child care will be provided.
This is a free event, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds will go the CIBC Run For The Cure.