Sgv 91 master key Nancy Davidson – Retreats for the Living Beauty
“Our living beauties model that at the fashion show, and it is the most empowering event I have ever seen.”
“We serve women with any kind of cancer at any part of their journey and give them healing modalities, and wellness, and sisterhood, and give them the strength and community to get through whatever they need to get through now.”
“Cancer is something that happens to you; it’s not who you are.”
- Nancy started her career in a nonprofit with children’s groups
- Nancy switched to working with Living Beauity after meeting to founder
- Nancy has been working for Living Beauity for over 7 years
- Nancy loves what hope the company brings to those that are dealing with the terror that is cancer.
- Nancy hopes to help her organization grow to help more women in different ways.
Russell and Scott have a conversation with an SGV resident who is the current director of the Foundation for Living Beauty, a company that provides as much support as it can for cancer patients and families.
The whole message behind living beauty is to spread awareness and positivity. They serve women with any kind of cancer at any part of their journey and give them a place to feel connected and companionship.
They strive to help women by being that strength for them. To help them get through their cancer.
How did you get into this industry?
Nancy has been in non-profits for 35 years in children’s organizations. But after meeting Amy, the founder of Living Beauties, Nancy jumped aboard and has been there for 7 years.
How do you connect with the woman that needs help?
At first, Living Beauty only really served the woman of Sol Cal, but during the pandemic, they switched to almost entirely virtual. And this allowed them to expand, and now they work with women from 47 states.
The women come from word of mouth, and they also partner with hospitals who help want to help find their patients a support system.
When a person is diagnosed with cancer, there is a lot of hassle and paperwork. But Living Beauty gives a gift to the women that are diagnosed to help ease them into the situation and as an introduction. It includes essential oils, organic skincare, a note from another woman that had cancer, and ways to contact Living Beauty.
They only do the gift at a local hospital, City of Hope, but they are working on doing the gift in a few more.
Where are your events?
They try to make these beautiful retreats in some of the prettiest places on earth, like Malibu or Lake Arrowhead. It’s an event to get away from their daily worries, and they can focus on themselves and let them support each other in the least stressful environment they could have.
They actually even started a three-day yoga for cancer retreat that is now recognized as a national program.
It guides women post-cancer and gets back to loving and facing what they went through.
There is a mix of women in remission and women who still have cancer that goes to the retreats to learn from each other, and they can act as almost a model for the future.
During the retests, there is a magical kind of connection that happens. The group doesn’t even talk about cancer unless the women want to. They treat them as normal people.
What change have you seen in your 7 years?
Unfortunately, a change that Nancy has seen has been a shift from the majority of women being older and suffering from genetic cancers to younger women suffering from environmentally attributed cancers.
How are the women that come to you viewing their prognosis?
Nancy says that the women who come are all individuals. Some may have a positive outlook, some may be downtrodden, and some may be neutral.
When Living Beauty has their retreats, they survey the women who come before and after. Almost always after the retreat, they show a significant shift in positivity.
So they know that their organization is doing good work that does help women, and that is their ultimate goal.
What do you do for fundraising?
They have several big fundraising events every year. They have lunch-ins, and fashion shows with notable names.
Living Beauty was also featured by the Chamber of Commerce in their event in 2023.
What did you bring?
Nancy brought Wabi Sabi Bowl. The Japanese art of restoring broken things with gold. It’s a sentiment that she tries to share with all the women she works with that these imperfections are not something to hide. They are the things that should be celebrated.
A San Gabriel native, Nancy, lets us know her favorite places in the area.
1 San Gabriel Civic Auditorium
2 Tournament of Roses house
3 The Derby Restaurant
Nancy Davidson is the Executive Director of The Foundation for Living Beauty, a Pasadena-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of women with cancer. After graduating from The University of Redlands, Nancy began working in the corporate world but quickly learned that her passion was in helping nonprofit organizations flourish. She has spent the past 35 years in nonprofit management, serving as the Executive Director of Escalon School in Altadena and CASA Los Angeles before assuming the reins of Living Beauty in 2016. For seven years, Nancy also had her own consulting company, assisting nonprofit organizations in strategic planning, fundraising, and board recruitment and training. What she enjoys most is taking a nonprofit to the next level, which she is now doing with Living Beauty. In 2016, 300 women were served by the organization. Now, almost seven years later, their numbers have grown to more than 1,300 women from 47 states.
Nancy was named an Outstanding Alumni by her alma mater and most recently was named by Business Life Magazine as one of their 2022 Outstand Women Achievers.