Evelyn Calip
Founder and Survivor

Evelyn's Message

Shortly after I began working as a PeriOperative Registered Nurse at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, I found myself surrounded by other women who were being diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was going through my cancer journey, I remember that regardless of efforts by my  family and friends to understand what I was going through, they couldn't possibly know how I felt. Realizing this was a deep need in many other women as well, I became inspired to create a group that would bring together women with breast cancer through unifying events. In August 2009, Evelyn's BFF (Breast Friends Forever) was born. 

Evelyn's BFF gives breast cancer women a place to relax and share each other's cancer journey in an informal setting. It's a place where family and friends are welcome to attend. Every other month the group gathers for lunch, dinner or some type of day long "fun" events such as: Valentine's Day, Private Bra Party, Pamper Me Pink/Bra Day, 5K Breast Cancer Reconstruction Run/Walk, Luau, and Christmas Cocktail. 

In November 2010, I was chosen as an audience member on "Oprah's Favorite Things for Ultimate Heroes". Meeting Oprah and being on her show  gave me the opportunity to experience what she calls "truly the best gift"...the gift of giving back! This inspired me to do more for breast cancer women.One of the most important highlights of my breast cancer treatment is breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction gave me my self esteem back and made me feel complete again. I think it is important for every woman diagnosed with breast cancer who's considering breast reconstruction to know her options early on and know that after the emotional and physical hurdles, you can get back on your feet "feeling whole" again. As a registered nonprofit and 501 (3c) we are able to accept get donations and hold fundraisers to benefit breast cancer women who are uninsured/underinsured and considering breast reconstruction.

Evelyn's BFF has become a place for emotional and informational support for those breast cancer women who are contemplating, undergoing or completing breast reconstruction. It's the place where breast cancer women meet for the first time and become "breast friends forever". We are the first breast reconstruction public benefit corporation in our community.