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The Core Compassion Project: Supporting Those Affe...

The Core Compassion Project: Supporting Those Affected by Breast Cancer

In 2011, I began working with a client who had recently undergone a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Soon after, I began working with a second client who was diagnosed with breast cancer and was preparing for her mastectomy. I was a new Pilates teacher and fascinated at how quickly the exercises helped these women regain strength and mobility, even as a new teacher. I also began to consider how many people could benefit from Pilates, but may not have the finances to pay for the training. If the people could afford Pilates, do they know that Pilates can assist in their healing?

In my journey to help these first two women, the idea of a small nonprofit was born. I remember meeting with my accountant and sharing my wild idea with him in a small cafe near my studio. I did not have nonprofit experience, but I gathered business people who I knew could help me. This is how Core Compassion Project, and its mission to restore, support and strengthen those affected by breast cancer, was born!

We have always been 100 percent volunteer-led and staffed, and our Board of Directors is a mix of past scholarship recipients and business people who believe in the healing power of movement and Pilates. Shortly after the nonprofit was started, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, my three year-old nephew was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. These family experiences pushed me to pour my heart into Core Compassion Project, wholly and determinedly, doing all I could to fight cancer in my own way.

Where there is pain, there is purpose. I began to learn all I could about breast cancer, the types of surgeries that are offered, and the side effects that often come with those surgeries. I studied the details of specific exercises and how they can help or hinder the recovery process. I shared all I learned with individuals who came to me post-surgery, as I was starting to get referrals from our medical community.

I spent two years writing my book to help breast cancer fighters, The Jill Hinson Method for Breast Cancer, and developing a teacher training program that has allowed Core Compassion Project to expand into other studios across the United States. All recipients receive my book included with their scholarship so they can continue Pilates when they complete the scholarship program.

Although my book launch was canceled due to the pandemic, Core Compassion Project received great support from teachers through social media so I still moved forward with my teacher training program through Zoom during the shut down.

Just like many studios and nonprofits, we were also challenged financially during the pandemic when we had to cancel our biggest fundraiser for two consecutive years. Our resilient Pilates community committed to help us in 2021, raising over $30,000 that year through virtual classes and live small group classes. When I consider how tough those years were for teachers and small studios, I smile at the support we received. Pilates people are giving people.

In May of 2021 we launched our wearables program, offering free fitness bras and lymphedema sleeves to people fighting breast cancer across the US. We are able to do this thanks to our generous partners, AnaOno Intimates and Lymphedivas. The number of scholarships, bras, and sleeves that are gifted each year continues to grow.

I am often the person sharing about Core Compassion Project to our community, but there are many people you never see creating budgets, placing bra and sleeve orders, coordinating affiliates and recipients, collecting data, and fundraising. It is truly the work of many people who hold this nonprofit just as close to their hearts as I do.

We continue to welcome teachers to our growing team of affiliates. In order to offer the best possible experience for our recipients, affiliates are required to be certified Pilates teachers and are required to complete the Jill Hinson Method for Breast Cancer Teacher Certification, or hold certification from the Cancer Exercise Training Institute.

As we move into October, we will be holding Compassion MATraiser, where we ask studios and teachers to host a donation-based Pilates class to support Core Compassion Project. If you would like to learn more about Core Compassion Project and how you can get involved, please visit our website www.corecompassionproject.org.

In closing, we can all do something. We can all give somewhere. It’s important to sit for a moment, consider our passions and purpose…then go and help where your heart leads.

Our mission at Core Compassion Project® is to restore, support, and strengthen those affected by Breast Cancer. We seek to help restore strength and mobility to breast cancer patients and/or survivors in a setting that offers a time to heal mentally and physically. Core Compassion Project supports recipients by providing Pilates Scholarships, specialized fitness bras, and lymphedema sleeves, for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Social Handles:
www.corecompassionproject.org
Instagram @corecompassionproject
Facebook corecompassionproject


Jill Hinson, NCPT, is a Cancer Exercise Specialist, and the owner of Core Studio Pilates in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Jill graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance Education. In 2012, Jill created Core Compassion Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit offering scholarship funding for Pilates-based, post-rehab sessions for people fighting breast cancer. The Project also offers fitness bras and lymphedema sleeves to applicants who qualify. Jill currently serves as the Executive Director and has published two books, The Jill Hinson Method for Breast Cancer and The Jill Hinson Method for Breast Cancer - Teacher Training Manual. Jill has presented her work at studios and movement festivals nationally, and has been featured in SHAPE Magazine and Pilates Style Magazine for her work with Pilates and TRX Suspension Training.

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