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Meet the Boobie Sisters: North Country group of breast cancer survivors

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - A group of women in Plattsburgh has been taking on the stage and singing silly songs, but there is a powerful and charitable message behind it all. Kelly O’Brien introduces us to “The Boobie Sisters.”

Prior to the pandemic, you would find this group of loud and proud women on stages across the country. They have more in common than their feather-filled boas; they are a sisterhood tied together with a silky pink string.

One of the Boobie Sisters, Judy, remembers when she first got the news.

“It was a hard road for me,” she said. “It started back in 1989. That’s when my first cancer hit me, so that was over 30 years ago.”

All the women in the group are breast cancer survivors, calling themselves “The Boobie Sisters,” This year, they traded stages for Zoom calls and are itching to get out and perform and help others in need.

“Just the look on their face and the tears that they cry, know that we have done something to touch them, to make them feel so much better about what they are going through,” said Rebecca, another Boobie Sister.

“We all can tell you stories about people who come up to us after a show and say, ‘I haven’t laughed since my diagnosis,’” one of the sisters, Bonnie, said. “There is a can in cancer. It’s not a death sentence.”

The group started with just six North Country women; they were the original sisters back in 2003. Over the years, the group has grown to dozens of strong women survivors.

“One of your colleagues is diagnosed with breast cancer and you say, ‘Wow, you have that sense of humor. Come on in and join us,’” said Bonnie. “Gotta have a sense of humor.”

The American Cancer Society says that 1 in 8 women will get the disease in their lifetime. More than 42,000 women will die from it this year. These women are part of the 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in this country, and they want to do their part in working toward a cure.

Boobie Sister Ann said, “Besides the connection of just giving people comfort as they are going through a tough time, we do events that help raise money for research and things that bring this along and make it an easier battle.”

Thanksgiving Day is a day for reflection and gratitude, but this group of women is grateful every day for strangers-turned-family and the ability to find hope through a little bit of humor.

“I wouldn’t want to be anything else than a Boobie Sister right now because I’m glad when I wake up in the morning I’m still here,” said Judy. “These girls are just like sisters. That’s what the name means, Boobie Sisters, and that’s what we are, sisters, definitely. And we are all fighting the same cause.”

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