Breast Cancer Charity Sends Turtles On Vacation

Attendees showed their support for breast cancer survivors Tammy Jahn and Joy Orich at the second annual Send Me On Vacation (SMOV) fundraising event in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Both women represent more than 2.4 million breast cancer survivors who have transitioned from surviving cancer to becoming a survivor.

Capturing the imagination of those attending was the inspired cuisine of Tramonto restaurant at the Grand Mayan Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. In addition the resort sponsored a morning golf tournament and the annual turtle release where hundreds of day-old turtles were released into the ocean to start a new life. “Starting a new life is very symbolic to our organization,” says Lisa Wanzenried, SMOV president. “Our mission is to provide a well-deserved vacation to breast cancer survivors. We believe in the power that a vacation has to restore, rejuvenate and revitalize a survivor’s body, mind and spirit, resulting in a new, cancer-free life.”

Tammy Jahn, the group’s spokesperson and a former vacation recipient, shared a few words about her experience, “Treating cancer consumes your life and often the lives of those you love. It changes everything about you and challenges your abilities in ways you never imagined. For me the gift of a survivor vacation was my ‘ah-ha’ moment, you know the one Oprah talks about, the one experience that really changes your life!”

SMOV has over 500 members that support transitional healing. The organization’s volunteers work tirelessly to change the lives of survivors, one vacation at a time. Jeanette Bunn, president of Travel To Go, spends many hours each month planning every detail of the trip for each recipient. As she puts it, “Planning survivor travel has been a new experience for me. It has redefined creating the dream vacation experience for every traveler.”

Over 18 unique companies throughout the US and Mexico each sponsored a golf hole in honor of a breast cancer survivor. Two companies, Grupo Mayan, creators of the Vida Vacation Club, and SFX Preferred Resorts, repeated their generosity as primary sponsors again at the 2012 SMOV Annual Event. “We have been blessed with amazing supporters from sponsors to volunteers to recipients. The honor of giving the gift of a new beginning to so many amazing survivors is priceless,” says Cathy Backus, the group’s chairman and founder. Outstanding contributors such as Valentino Dancher and Doug Saunders – both from the Grand Mayan: Rivera Maya – and Cory Phelps, with San Francisco Exchange, make our mission possible.

This year, the organization plans to grow throughout Mexico and will select 2 Mexican National survivors as recipients. Diversity is a key component in establishing the group’s international development. Start 2013 by blessing a survivor with her dream vacation by contacting Jeanette Bunn at: Check out our website and become a complimentary member today at: