Meet Julie G., a Bright Pink Support Ambassador from Denver, Colorado! Read on to learn more about Julie and how Bright Pink has made an impact on her life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Julie Gordon and I reside in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I am fortunate to live in a state that has 300+ days of sunshine per year, which means there are no excuses to get out and enjoy the beauty. I live on a park and we are less than an hour away from the mountains, so we take full advantage of an active Colorado lifestyle. Winter hobbies mostly include skiing! Summer activities include biking around town/to baseball games/concerts in the park, hiking the trails and/or mountains (I have summited 10 of the 54 14,000 foot peaks), running, fly fishing, dinning al fresco.
I have the most fun and rewarding job! I am the owner of barre3 Denver. Barre3 combines the grace of the ballet barre with the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates. I work with an amazing team of instructors, and we together have shaped the bodies and self-image of women (and men) in our community by teaching challenging classes set to an upbeat soundtrack. But to be honest, I get more out of seeing my clients in class and sharing their stories and successes…much like working with Bright Pink!
How did you hear about/ get involved with Bright Pink?
I first heard about Bright Pink after Giuliana Rancic (a close friend and supporter of Bright Pink) shared her breast cancer diagnosis and mentioned her work with Bright Pink. A few months later, I had my genetic testing done after my aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer (she is also a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 29 years of age). After I received my results (I am BRCA negative-the only one out of ten family members who have been tested; all the others are BRCA positive) I came across Bright Pink as a result of internet research, and I knew I wanted to be involved in this amazing organization-to raise awareness and education for those with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (like me), have been diagnosed, or carry the BRCA gene mutation. Like Lindsay Avner, the brilliant founder of Bright Pink, I feel with education and empowering young women about their risk that not another woman should be diagnosed or suffer with breast/ovarian cancer.
Then I registered to run the 2012 Chicago Marathon as a member of Bright Pink. My involvement didn’t stop there – last summer I joined the Denver Bright Pink Chapter as our Support Ambassador. I have met some incredibly inspiring, bold women here in Denver and on the leadership team in Chicago and the ambassadors in other cities.
Who or what has been the most important influence in your life?
As silly as it seems, it is my kitty, Emily–she has changed my life for the better. For the last 16 years (yes, she is 16 years old) she has been my constant companion through good times…and the not so good times, I find more joy in witnessing her actions and how she delights in the simple things (her fave toys are a cardboard box or a paper grocery bag and a plastic pull tab from a Whole Foods container), she gives generously, she has helped me realize the benefit of an afternoon “cat nap,” her loving gaze and gentle touch have opened my eyes to my surroundings and how I connect with others, and let me tell you about some of the conversations we have had…! I could go on and on! I don’t know what I will do without her.
What inspires you in everyday life?
The beauty of my surroundings–the snow capped mountains, the sunsets that take your breath away, the wind that creates music as it blows the leaves of the aspen trees, the calming sound of water trickling in a brook, a delish meal prepared with my boyfriend, and a lovely glass of wine. Then there are the experiences of travel…!! Isn’t that why we work so hard?
What do you love about Bright Pink?
I love that it has connected women who would not have for any other reason met in life. Through sharing our journey, we can support and build each other up on a local level and help the leadership team achieve so many goals and reach that many more young women. I love that it has forced my family to communicate and be proactive about our results and consider our options-it has joined us together as a family no matter how spread out in the country we are. I love too that Bright Pink has given me that extra nudge to open my own business so I can have an impact on the health and wellness of women (and men) in my community-at-large. My business has also provided me with a space to host events for our local Bright Pink women.
How can girls/women get involved with Bright Pink?
The Bright Pink website www.brightpink.org is a wonderful resource and would be the first place to find more information. It can send one in the right direction to connect with a local chapter, you can make a tax-deductible donation, and learn more about the amazing programs that Bright Pink offers.
Bright Pink’s message is about the importance of taking a proactive approach to your health and they offer an interactive online quiz that combines your family health history and lifestyle factors to create a personalized risk assessment for you to save, print, and bring to your doctor to craft a proactive breast and ovarian health strategy unique to you! Check out Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk tool and check back for more updates on our partnership.