Editor’s note: CSCAZ asked our partners at Plexus to talk about their relationship with CSCAZ and why they support our programs. Their Corporate Social Responsibility division replied with this article. We are grateful for their support and the value they see in our always free programming.

A breast cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. It’s common to experience anxiety, depression, anger, shame, and guilt. Studies show that up to 1 in 4 women with breast cancer have clinical depression, which can negatively impact long-term survival. After a diagnosis, women may withdraw from friends and family, eat poorly, or stop treatment. A study in CancerScope showed that cancer patients with only a few symptoms of depression experienced a 25% higher mortality rate than those without symptoms; this number jumps to 39% for patients diagnosed with major or minor depression. This highlights how critical support is for people diagnosed with cancer.

As a health and wellness leader, Plexus Worldwide wanted to address this gap by partnering with a leading cancer support organization. When looking for the right partnership, they were almost overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options. “It’s wonderful and daunting how many ways there are to help,” noted Alec Clark, President and Founder of Plexus Worldwide. “But it’s about finding charitable organizations that mirror your company ethos.”

That’s how Plexus® decided on a partnership with Cancer Support Community Arizona (CSCAZ). Not only is it local, but it also dovetails perfectly with the Plexus mission of health and happiness. Clark was impressed by the scope of the charity’s work: “With over 100 programs per month, we could see that this organization was making a real difference.” CSCAZ supports individuals with cancer through programs, including support groups, social activities, mind/body therapies, nutritional counseling, and educational seminars. With this scope in mind, Plexus leadership knew they had found their partner.

The scientific community has also started to embrace the importance of tending to the psychological dimension of breast cancer treatment. Two recent studies showed that low-fat and anti-inflammatory diets may reduce mortality and heart disease, respectively. Another study cited how yoga, tai chi chuan, and qigong can positively affect social well-being. Finally, a qualitative analysis showed that participants of support groups felt “a unique sense of community, unconditional acceptance, and information about cancer and its treatment.”

As part of the partnership, Plexus has created two products and two bundles for the month of October – the Strong and Brave Bundle and the Strong and Brave Bundle Plus. Both contain the limited-edition Berry Active, a lifestyle performance mix, and Berry Collagen, a supplement that boosts your body’s ability to produce more collagen. The Plus bundle additionally includes a Breast Chek Kit, designed for women to easily perform monthly self-examinations to help detect changes in their breasts.* Plexus will make a monetary donation for each product purchased, with a significant portion going to Cancer Support Community Arizona. Of the remainder, Plexus will donate to other support charities across the country and select global organizations.

Cancer Support Community Arizona is more than a charitable partner to Plexus Worldwide; it has become family. Plexus employees frequently volunteer at CSCAZ and have become friends with those who utilize their services. Plexus also sponsors large-scale annual events, such as Trivia Night and Porch Party, and has made in-kind donations of both products and personal accessories.

Giving to organizations that support those diagnosed with cancer is more important than ever. This year, it’s estimated that medical professionals will diagnose more than 340,000 new breast cancer cases, with incidence rates slightly higher than in previous years. While the overall death rate from breast cancer has declined marginally, the emotional impact has not changed. Everyone who has a loved one affected by breast cancer knows the devastating psychological effects. Support takes on many shapes and sizes. A moment of belonging, a laugh among friends who understand, and knowledge to make someone feel more in control of their diagnosis are all invaluable to a person’s cancer journey, because no one should go through cancer alone.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.