Save Ourselves: Sacramento's Local Breast Cancer Organization
Save Ourselves believes that no one should face breast cancer alone. SOS is committed to empowering people by promoting breast health awareness through outreach and educational activities, encourages those with breast cancer to be well-informed about their disease, promote proactive participation in decisions about their treatment, provides emotional support from others who have been in their shoes, while exploring how to build more meaningful lives after diagnosis of this life-changing disease.
In 1991 Save Ourselves (SOS), a Breast Cancer Organization of Sacramento began as a community based, non-profit organization of volunteers. It provides support, survivorship, education, and advocacy services about breast cancer for women and men with breast cancer and for families affected by this disease. All SOS services are given at no cost to participants. SOS depends upon donations and fund raising events for financing.
SOS conducts continuous breast cancer support groups meeting monthly and led by professionally trained facilitators; groups where those with breast cancer find support with others like themselves. There are monthly Educational Forums, also called Open Door Meetings with guest speakers who address breast cancer management including treatment, care, support and survivorship in a friendly, non-hospital setting. Those with breast cancer and those who support them are given an opportunity to connect with experts.
The Save Ourselves Helpline is a 24-hour telephone support network for those newly diagnosed or anyone during the course of their disease who would like to talk with a professionally trained peer counselor. Peer counselors are volunteers who are all also breast cancer survivor/thrivers. To connect with a helpline counselor, to find information about joining a support group and to find out about other SOS services please call (800) 422-9747 or (916) 448-5432.
Community educational events and activities that promote breast health awareness and provide information about SOS services are conducted by volunteers. Additionally they participate in patient advocacy efforts in both clinical and political areas.
For more information about SOS programs and for administrative issues please call the SOS office at (916) 786-HOPE (4673). To email a message please see the “Contact Us” Section on this site.
SOS began in 1991 when a small group of younger women realized the scarcity of breast cancer support, information and resources. We speak to civic groups, professional organizations, schools, places of employment, health clubs, legislators, places of worship and community events about breast health awareness, and a myriad of breast cancer issues (i.e., prevention, detection, coping), tailored to the needs of the group.
1991: SOS began hosting monthly educational forums that continue today on the third Wednesday of every month at Nordstrom, Arden Fair Mall.
1992: We trained our first group of breast cancer thriver hotline volunteers for our 24/7 helpline.
1993: We launched the first of many support groups (now host 108 groups/year in Sac & Roseville)
1993: Breast Cancer Act of 1993: SOS played a significant role in the passage of this legislation that funded the Every Woman Counts program. Uninsured women over 40 (with referral from a health provider) can now receive free mammograms because of this legislation. 1998: We founded the metastatic breast cancer (MBC) group – meets twice a month
2001 – 11: Latina support group, currently have Spanish speaking breast cancer survivors available
2004: We established a support group for lesbians, facilitated by a lesbian breast cancer thriver
2006 – 10: Check It Out program for high school students to teach breast self exam (BSE)
2009: We opened the first of two lingerie closets and resource centers in which people can get new & gently used post-op undergarments, mastectomy bras, wigs, prosthetics, books, DVDs, CDs, hats. Located in UCD’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, Folsom, Sacto.
2012: Instituted our April Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Support on the American River Parkway
2012: We created a Facing Cancer with Faith support group that meets monthly in Roseville
2013: Launched survivorship program for people 2+ years post treatment: From Surviving to Thriving. The breast cancer experience does not end when treatment ends. This group equips people to live more fully using modalities that nurture the mind, body and spirit.
Save Ourselves Staff
Cass Brown Capel, Ph.D. - President and Program Director
Breast Cancer Group Facilitator
Cass was 32 when diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She became friends with several other young women drawn together to support one another during initial and ongoing breast cancer treatment. They helped one another with this life changing experience; peer support that became the prototype for Save Ourselves (SOS). Thus the organization name “Save Ourselves,” founded by them in 1991.
Dr. Capel is a licensed psychologist with private practices in Auburn and Sacramento. She is well known for her professional expertise in comprehensive, client-centered breast cancer support and survivorship.