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Breast Cancer Awareness: Thriving & Surviving With Lumi Healing

Breast Cancer Awareness: Thriving & Surviving With Lumi Healing

Have you ever met someone who despite everything life has thrown at them, they continue to thrive, push, and inspire others? Enter Coalition Snow Ambassador Karen Ranieri. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Karen started Lumi Healing, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting people of all ages and stages of breast cancer.

Karen's goal is to help people thriving and surviving breast cancer find strength in activities that “embrace the healing power of snow.” Karen has always found strength and resilience while playing in the snow and nature and through snow sports. The goal of Lumi Healing is to support others to do the same. 

Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to highlight the work of Lumi Healing, so we sat down with Karen. Have a read and then head on over to their website to learn more and consider donating to support the Lumi Healing participants and their caregivers enjoy their winter activities free of charge.

Jacinta: What made you start Lumi Healingwhat is this space for?

Karen: The idea for Lumi Healing came out of a need to create a safe space for people within the breast cancer community that promotes the healing power of activity in snow. During radiation everyone kept talking to me about recurrence  rates and exercise and it really frustrated me because I was really healthy before cancer and now you are saying if I exercise 30 minutes a day I can decrease my recurrence rate by 50%.

What this does is create an environment that ties exercise, something that is already a big part of my life, to cancer and I may come to resent it. It sets an illusion that I have control over cancer and the truth is I really don't. Cancer doesn't care how healthy you are or even your age. My cancer came back and its not because I didn't exercise enough. It's because that is how cancer works.

I found peace during treatment by skiing at a slow pace in the back yard. The idea for Lumi Healing came out of a desire to pass along the healing power of snow to others, especially those who are intimidated by snow based activities. We host events that give our people a chance to play in the snow and meet other thrivers. We do not focus on how many miles we travel or how long we are out there for. It's all about being in the moment.

Jacinta: What about snow sports do you feel lends a hand in the healing process? 

Karen: The simple motion of moving over snow, through the trees, with a group of people that are all going through the same thing is incredibly powerful. It helps us feel carefree ,even if only for a short while. The silence on the trail, especially if its snowing, is magic! There is no pressure to move at any pace other than your own and any mode of travel works!

Jacinta: What is your main message for Breast Cancer Thrivers & Survivors? 

Karen: This process of thriving is difficult on so many levels and we should be filling our lives with activities that we love with the intention of enjoying life and  being healthy because it fills our souls, not because numbers or statistics tell us we should. Give yourselves grace because surviving survivorship is sometimes harder than active treatment. There is no way to mentally prepare for that so if you find yourself overwhelmed, remember you are not alone. 


Thanks for reading! Remember to head over to Lumi Healing’s website to learn more. Please consider donating to help them reach their winter goal of $5000 to help support the Lumi Healing participants. And don’t miss their winter events and activities in Summit County, Colorado–get all of the details here.


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