The Founding of Hope Chest

Hope Chest was created as a result of a friendship and a shared interest in exercise. The founder and her close friend Nina aspired to become personal trainers. Despite a diagnosis of breast cancer, Nina continued to exercise whenever possible and was determined to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors. Together they created a wellness program in January 2000, Hope Chest.

Shorty after, they came across research conducted by Dr. Don McKenzie of Vancouver, British Columbia. He dispelled the myth that breast cancer survivors should refrain from certain extensive and repetitive upper body exercises to prevent lymphedema - a permanent and sometimes incapacitating swelling of the arm and chest area that can develop anytime after lymph node surgery and radiation treatment.

This research enabled Dr. McKenzie to form the first "all breast cancer survivors" dragon boat team (Abreast-In-A-Boat). This philosophy for encouraging breast cancer survivors to return to an unrestricted, active lifestyle became the foundation of Hope Chest.

Sadly, Nina lost her eight year battle in May 2000 only a few months before the Hope Chest Team competed in their first race. Nina's dream of living an unrestricted, active lifestyle lives on. Her spirit and influence is reflected in the name Luminina which means "Light of Nina".

Luminina, dba Hope Chest, is a 501 ( c)(3) not-for-profit agency, which depends upon the generosity of our donors and sponsors for continued existence.

For more information on donating to this worthy cause, click here.