Power Women 2013: Sue Weldon
Founder, Unite for HER
It’s been nine years since Sue Weldon was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her treatment, she went with a different approach, taking advantage of complementary therapies like acupuncture and meditation. “I felt like there were a lot of gaps in the medical community, things that weren’t offered at that time—whether it was nutrition or yoga or massage—that heal the whole person body, mind and spirit and aren’t part of the standard of care,” says Weldon, who lives in West Chester.
Once in remission, Weldon founded the nonprofit Unite for HER. It’s a way for her to share all that she’s learned with other patients and provide access to the therapies that worked so well for her. Weldon also works with doctors and surgeons to help make such therapies a part of their standard of care.
Initially partnering with Paoli Hospital, where Weldon had her cancer treatment, the four-year-old organization is now affiliated with 10 hospitals throughout the Philadelphia area. Weldon works with the facilities to pick patients in their first year of being diagnosed. They receive $2,500 in therapy options for free, including nutrition sessions and healthy cooking classes.
So far, more than 500 breast cancer patients have benefited from the program. And thanks, in no small part, to Unite for HER, the medical community in our region now acknowledges how important these wellness alternatives can be for patients undergoing treatment.
“They feel like they can gain a little control with a disease they have no control over,” says Weldon of the patients the program has helped. “These women are fully restored back to the women they once were—if not better, because they feel like they have more control. We teach them and empower them. It’s amazing to see the lives we’re changing.”