About Us

Save Ourselves:
Sacramento's Local Breast Cancer Organization

Mission Statement.

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.

Organizational Overview:


In 1991, Save Ourselves (SOS) Breast Cancer Organization began as a community-based nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to improving the lives of those affected by breast cancer.

It provides support, education, resources, and most importantly HOPE for those affected by breast cancer. We offer survivorship services for those who have completed treatment to facilitate moving from surviving to thriving. All SOS services are no cost to participants. SOS depends on fundraising (one word) to continue its 28 year legacy.

SOS conducts continuous psychoeducational breast cancer support groups that are led by professionally trained facilitators; groups where those with breast cancer find support with others like themselves.

SOS provides monthly educational forums with guest speakers presenting topics pertinent to breast cancer patients. (These meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month except December at Nordstrom Arden Fair Mall in the second floor training room.) A monthly potluck is held just prior to the educational forum that begins at 6:30pm.

The Save Ourselves Helpline is a 24-hour telephone support network for those diagnosed with breast cancer at any point in the course of their disease who would like to talk to 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.

Our history

SOS began in 1991 when a small group of 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.

about21991: 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 launched the metastatic breast cancer (MBC) group – meets twice a month

2004: We established a support group for lesbians, facilitated by a lesbian breast cancer thriver

2009: We opened the first lingerie closets and resource centers in which people can get new & gently used post-op undergarments, mastectomy bras, wigs, prosthetics, books, DVDs, CDs, hats.  Please call for information at 916-786-4643 for assistance.

2012: Instituted our April Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Support on the American River Parkway

2012: We established a Facing Cancer with Faith support group that meets monthly in Roseville facilitated by breast cancer thriver Kristin Kozlowski, L.M.F.T.

2012: Held our inaugural Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Support Services along the Jedidiah Smith Loop Trail on the beautiful American River Parkway.

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.

2014: Established a young survivors support group for women under 45 facilitated by psychologist Cass Brown Capel, Ph.D., who was 32 when she had breast cancer.

Save Ourselves Staff

cass 1Cass 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.  That peer support 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.

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