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Two women credit SHARE cancer support with helping them get through breast cancer

Posted at 2:36 PM, Oct 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-23 14:36:49-04

"Stage one, I had a single mastectomy, and it was difficult living without a breast, learning to adjust," Cathy Brown remembered.

Cathy brown is a breast cancer survivor. She was also a reluctant participant in a support group.

"I told my husband I didn't want to sit in a room full of bald women complaining," she said.

But her husband wanted her to go. Brown showed up to a SHARE meeting in 2013 right after her mastectomy.

"I walked into a room where every single woman knew what I was going through," she remembered.

She says it felt like home. SHARE provides support and guidance for women coping with breast and ovarian cancers. There are support groups throughout New York City and a nationwide hot-line.

Marjorie Schwartz answers helpline calls and leads support groups. She is also a breast cancer survivor.

"I was diagnosed 10 years ago with stage two hormone positive breast cancer," Schwartz said.

Schwartz says a support group can be a huge help for women who are scared and feeling alone.

"During the course of diagnosis and treatment, people start to feel low, isolated. They feel that others typically do not understand how difficult treatment can be."

All the women who work here know how to help, because they've lived through this disease.

"The emotional support is just a big a piece and I think as they talk and trade stories, they feel stronger," Schwartz said.

And now Cathy Brown, who shows us her new "Brave Woman" charm necklace, plans to give back. She will soon go from group participant to leader. She wants to show women they can and will beat the disease.

"Breast cancer affects everybody, every nationality, every race. We are all equal. We are all breast cancer survivors.​," Brown said.