Rita Matthias was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32. Since that diagnoses in 2018, she’s been documenting the sometimes bumpy road to recovery on her blog, theyearoffierce.blogspot.com in hopes of helping other young women navigate their own breast cancer journeys.

“I’ve been selected to be one of 12 breast cancer survivors featured in the upcoming ‘A Calendar to Live By 2021,’” said Matthias, who has healed from her last surgery and has been busy teaching, enjoying family and planning a honeymoon with her husband Jerrett — almost two years after their wedding.

Matthias said “A Calendar to Live By” is put together by Here for the Girls, a 501©(3) not-for-profit, dedicated to helping young women with a breast cancer diagnosis.

“This organization is so amazing,” said Matthias, who is now cancer free. “I joined their online support group within weeks of my diagnosis. These girls helped me navigate the unknown and not feel so alone as I was going through it.”

One of the first women who messaged Matthias was Caitlin.

“She was diagnosed months before and navigating it all by herself. I was so thankful to talk for hours to someone so much like me, young, and with a young family,” said Matthias, who said she will be going to Virginia in April for a photo shoot and retreat. “Caitlin lost her battle this year which only taught me even more how precious life is.”

The calendars feature more than just breast cancer warriors. They also include breast health guides that provide information on breast cancer, managing risks, early detection and more. Presale calendars are $10 now through June.

Money from the sale of the calendars as well as other donations Matthias and the other calendar girls are raising will go to support programs and resources offered through Here For the Girls.

Matthias said she hopes to raise $3,000 for the organization that has done so much for her.

“It’s a really amazing organization that has really helped me through my own diagnosis and battle with breast cancer,” said Matthias,who said those interested in supporting the cause can donate online at give.classy.org/RitaMatthias. Those wishing to purchase calendars can contact Matthias at reblin@ngsc.k12.in.us.

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