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Thriving Pink: Grants help families through difficult times


Apr 2, 2023

Pink Team volunteers have seen firsthand and embrace the tremendous resiliency of those in our community who face a challenging and life-altering breast cancer diagnosis, many of them our friends, family members and neighbors. Many also struggle to find their footing to move forward with increasing health burdens, the inability to work, rising medical bills, and housing and food insecurity.

It is also often difficult and unexpected news to hear such a diagnosis with a vast majority of these women, about 85%, are the first in their families to face such a diagnosis. Breast cancer is a prevalent disease with about 13% (1 in 8) facing this difficult journey. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.

Thriving Pink is dedicated to serve the breast cancer community in Yolo County to ensure no one goes through this difficult journey alone. The local organization provides a compassionate network of support through one-on-one Pink Peers, educational workshops led by medical professionals, resources, and support groups. “I truly appreciate the Pink Peer program and workshops because it has made such a world of difference for me. I encourage others to reach out too,” shared Siv Winberg.

Thriving Pink also provides critical financial assistance to local breast cancer survivors through individual financial grants to many local women and their families who need the most help and support for essential and basic needs. “We want to make a positive impact on a local level, and we see the great need to share our resources to do this together,” shared Thriving Pink founder Mary Yin Liu.

The poverty rate in Yolo County is 21.95% higher than the California average and the third highest county poverty rate in California. Jacob Hibel, the co-director for UC Davis’ Center for Poverty & Inequality Research, made a statement recently to address the poverty crisis. “Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Yolo County families were struggling economically, with about 1 in 5 households being below the poverty threshold.”

The Granting Pink Program for Thriving Pink continues to help many women and their families by filling a great need for immediate and essential needs, covering medical treatment, health insurance costs, food and groceries, rent, transportation, and quality-of-life care. Rose Cholewinski of SwimAmerica-Davis has served as the dedicated Chair of Granting Pink since its inception when Thriving Pink started in 2016, “Thank you for making this important program possible because what you do matters, and your generosity is making a difference.”

Thriving Pink volunteers, including dozens of Pink Peers and board members, showed up to help present 27 newly diagnosed women in Yolo County with thoughtful gift bags filled with resource materials and individual financial grants. A local grant recipient who spoke Spanish from Woodland arrived with nearly a dozen relatives surrounding her — her parents, husband and young children.

“I can’t believe so many people in the community gave so much to help us,” she said. “My doctor referred me to Thriving Pink and I thought it was too good to be true, but it’s really true. I can now pay for more medical bills and my family doesn’t have to worry so much. You are all here just to care for me and I am very moved by all this support.”

“There were a lot of tears, but they were good tears — some of them mine, too,” shared Jenna Elms, a local Davis High School student. “The gifts were touching and meaningful, and I’m so glad to be here this weekend to volunteer.”

Thriving Pink will celebrate and recognize all the Thriving Pink grant awardees, community partners, and supporters at the upcoming seventh annual Pink Gala. Please save the date and join us on Friday, May 5, at the picturesque Olive Grove Courtyard at the Yin Ranch Estate in Vacaville. Community Service Awardees this year include Dr. Claudia De Young of Kaiser Permanente, the George and Lena Valente Foundation, and Linda Dunn of Bloom Again.

Emcees Krysten Cholewinski and Emma Hunter will join the board members to lead the very special program and thank many Pink Heroes in our community. Funds raised will directly help local breast cancer survivors to receive future financial assistance through the Granting Pink program. Please visit to reserve a seat or table today.

Other upcoming events also include the Pink Speaker Series workshops: Monday, April 10, 7-8 p.m., with Dr. Nicole Carbo of Sutter Hospital (Screening guidelines for breast cancer detection, biopsy and the role of imaging); and Monday, April 24, 7-8 p.m., with Brenda Gustin, Ph.D., of Radiant Health Center (Metta Meditation and Practice).

Each workshop includes time for Q&A and time near the end for open conversations and support among breast cancer survivors/thrivers. The next Morning Walk is also scheduled for Saturday, April 15, 10-11 a.m., at Northstar Pond in Davis (park at Tandem Properties).

All Thriving Pink programs and services are provided at no cost to the community. Email or visit the website at to join an upcoming Pink Speakers Series workshop, support group, or morning walk. If you or someone you know needs support, we also encourage you to contact Thriving Pink for a Pink Peer. We truly appreciate your support and generosity which sustains Thriving Pink’s mission to provide a compassionate network of resources to help those in Yolo County impacted by breast cancer.

— Submitted by Thriving Pink board members.

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