For Young Women, the Unity-Tigerlily Foundation Partnership Offers Healing
When young women are diagnosed with breast cancer, physical health care tools alone aren’t enough to help them heal. While facing a cancer diagnosis, breast cancer spiritual support is just as vital for holistic healing.
Cancer and Helplessness
Jim Blake, CEO at Unity World Headquarters, dealt with feelings of helplessness and powerlessness when his daughter was diagnosed with cancer. After a year of aggressive treatment, she was declared cancer-free. However, the cancer was back after one year. And though she fought valiantly through a second round of treatments, she made her transition in 2015 at only 25 years old.
When Blake became CEO at Unity World Headquarters, he knew he wanted to create a resource for dealing with a cancer diagnosis: not just the physical part but facing the big spiritual questions and emotional obstacles.
“I promised to find a way to better help and serve those who are touched and impacted by this disease,” he said.
Unity created the Never Alone: Facing Cancer With Faith booklet, which offers affirmations, scripture passages, and firsthand stories from others who are living with cancer.
The booklet found its way to Maimah Karmo through a mutual acquaintance of hers and Blake’s, and a connection was sparked.
Breast Cancer Under 40: Unique Challenges
Karmo learned she had aggressive breast cancer at just 32 years old. As her world seemed to be falling apart around her in the weeks after the diagnosis, she had an epiphany: “No one gets out of life alive.”
As she began to see her cancer experience as an awakening to deeper meaning in life, she found a sense of gratitude for her life and a sense of purpose for inspiring others who feel scared, unsure, or broken.
“No human or earthly thing could give me the peace I was seeking,” she said.
Karmo had seen the unique challenges that women under 40 face when living with cancer, such as fertility issues, that older cancer patients didn’t. The Never Alone booklet resonated with her as an important breast cancer spiritual support tool, as she’d found her own connection to God become an anchor during her treatment.
During her second chemotherapy treatment she created the Tigerlily Foundation to educate, empower, and support young women affected by breast cancer.
Transforming the Cancer Journey
The partnership between the Tigerlily Foundation and Unity spawned a three-day event in May 2018, that took place at Unity Village and offered a spiritual retreat with a focus on the cancer journey. With an emphasis on taking time to be—to breathe—and developing spiritual tools like prayer, meditation, and self-forgiveness, the retreat was a much different event than most cancer patients and caregivers see.
Conferences that welcome thousands of attendees and have sessions every hour may provide a lot of helpful information, but the frenetic energy and constant motion can be draining.
What Unity and the Tigerlily Foundation seek to create is a safe space to talk, to learn, to be. Taking what they learned from the first event, Unity and Tigerlily are developing one-day retreats. A 2019 retreat is being held at Unity of Fairfax.
Breast Cancer Support
Prayer Line: 1-888-803-4680
(Calls answered 24/7 by Silent Unity prayer associates)
Building a Spiritual Toolbox for Healing
These shorter events give patients, survivors, caregivers—or anyone interested in considering spirituality in the context of cancer—the opportunity to connect with others and to develop their spiritual toolboxes.
Prayer—whether scheduled or spontaneous, alone or with a group, scripted or improvised, silent or spoken—can help reduce anxiety and promote a more positive outlook. These benefits can be extremely important when facing difficult times.
Unity provides healing spiritual support for anyone who is dealing with cancer—both as a patient or a caregiver. The Outreach and Engagement Department reaches into the communities, with resources through Unity ministries and through Messages of Hope®. The Unity Customer Care team answers questions about its many available spiritual resources.
Spiritual Resources for Breast Cancer Patients
Silent Unity answers prayer requests 24/7 for the many seeking care and guidance for holistic healing when facing cancer.
Now Unity and the Tigerlily Foundation want to make sure you know that you are not alone. Through this partnership, Silent Unity has created a dedicated prayer line to serve young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
To receive confidential prayer support, no matter your faith tradition or if you have no faith tradition, call 1-888-803-4680, available 24/7.
Unity also welcomes your request for Never Alone: Facing Cancer With Faith, created for those who are living with cancer, and Spiritual Support for Caregivers and Those Who Love Them.
The booklets are available without charge, as downloadable files or as mailed paper copies.