Finding Strength Together: Stories from bande

While October typically marks a time of transition into autumn, it’s also a time to champion awareness for an important cause that affects millions of women’s lives: breast cancer.

To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is our privilege to highlight a few of our incredible members whose lives have been directly impacted by breast cancer. Read their stories and join us in supporting, honoring and celebrating them. 

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Susan Getz, bande community member

Susan Getz, a longtime New Yorker, has enjoyed a successful career in marketing and creative services in the fashion and publishing industries as well as a second career as a luxury real estate broker. Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32 in 1990, before the days of the pink ribbon. After a mastectomy and chemotherapy, Susan later discovered that she has a BRCA2 mutation. Thyroid cancer followed, then a prophylactic oophorectomy. At age 50, Susan had another primary breast cancer appear, which required additional surgery and treatment. When asked about exercise, Susan concluded, “It was absolutely essential. And the truth is, taking classes when I could, and being part of that community helped get me through.”

Susan’s experience has fueled her dedication to breast cancer awareness. Susan serves on the leadership council for the Basser Center for BRCA, and she and her daughter have been active in a host of philanthropies focused on empowering women and teens to take responsibility for their own breast health.

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Amaya Weddle, Chief Product Officer at bande

Amaya’s mom died of breast cancer in her senior year of high school. “It was a year of extreme highs and lows. It took me a good five years to shift my focus toward doing good for the breast cancer mission and letting go of my grief and feelings that something unfair had happened to me,” she says. One of the most productive things Amaya did to refocus her energies was participation in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day. This 60-mile walk is an athletic event of endurance, perseverance and remembrance. Amaya has walked in over 10 of these events year after year with her younger sister, and her mother’s sister and brother.

During one of her pregnancies, Amaya was tested for the BRCA gene. Although it was negative, thus reducing her risk of breast cancer, the disease has been on her mind for the two decades since her mother’s death. 

Amaya says, “One of the things I can do to maintain wellness is work out. When you develop a fitness habit, your perspective shifts on your WHY. It’s no longer about losing weight, your appearance or achieving a temporary goal. It becomes a commitment to yourself, your future and a deeper mission of lifetime health. I want to be there to experience the joy of seeing my girls grow up, becoming a grandma (should they choose) and enjoying every moment I can with them.”

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We were built to bande

Research has shown that exercise can help reduce one’s risk of breast cancer, and has been identified as one of the most important things those who have breast cancer can do after diagnosis. Maintaining a consistent routine and commitment to overall wellness can help increase quality of life, strengthen the immune system and improve emotional well-being.

In addition to the physical benefits exercise can bring, being part of a strong, supportive community like bande helps women facing adversity feel connected, reminding them that they are not alone.

While many fitness platforms lay claim to the concept of community, our vision for bande is to foster genuine connections around every facet of wellness. We’re working to create a unique space that’s welcoming for anyone to join and challenge themselves, both in and outside of class.

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