Soon after I became a part of the AAS Jugendgruppe in 2001 I began making new friends from other Donauschawben clubs from around the country, and one of them was Katie Buchert. She was always happy, energetic, and could not keep from dancing when the music was playing. The AAS Jugend made multiple trips to milwaukee and them to Chicago and since then everyone in the AAS Jugend became friends with Katie and the other members of the Danube Cultural Society of Southeastern Wisconsin. Her smile and enthusiasm was contagious! After her breast cancer diagnosis in 2006 we all kept her in our thoughts and prayers. After a long fight, multiple surgeries and many ups and downs, Katie lost her battle in October.
After completing the pieces, Vanessa Buholzer, Maggie Zawislak, Katherine Rally, and Nikki Bappert all volunteered to help out with the photoshoot for free. We all met at the Balance Healing Center/Shanti Yoga Studio for the shoot and it was a great success.
All the proceeds from the collection will go to the Young Survival Coalition. Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful. We need to dispel the myth that breast cancer only occurs to women over the age of 40. KT’s first entry in her journal after learning she had breast cancer tells her story:
At US Cellular [her employer], they live by the 4 L’s: Love, Live, Learn & Leave a Legacy. When a traumatic event occurs, you really think about what type of legacy you could want to leave behind – especially if you get another opportunity. I’m using this opportunity to carry my voice – particularly to those who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Our stories are a little bit different. We just began our career – fresh right out of college, still looking to find Prince Charming, and as my friend Lauren described it, “22 is the time to spend partying – the time to be at the bars – not to be living with cancer.” … But instead, I was fighting to have a mammogram…
When I graduated from college I was having a hard time trying to find a way to use my talents and passion to make the world a better place. Katie’s spirit and story have helped me realize how I can do that. I hope that people enjoy this collection and help support the cause.