Event Details

October 21st, 2023

6:30pm – 10:30pm

Calavera Restaurant

2337 Broadway, Oakland, CA

About the Superbloom Soirée

The Story Behind the Theme

Despite prolonged droughts, triple-digit temperatures, and barren terrain, wildflower seeds can lie dormant for years or even decades in the desert. When conditions are just right, an overabundance of rain helps them rise up in a grand display of color and life: a superbloom. Arid landscapes push these seeds to the edge of what they can tolerate and yet, miraculously, thousands upon thousands persist.
The experience of a seed pushed to its limits, wavering between life and death, is not unlike living with breast cancer. Living with breast cancer means being surrounded by inhospitable conditions, putting much of life on hold while you wait, hope, plead for the rain to come. In 2003, two friends–Deb Mosley and Angela Padilla–decided to manifest the rain by starting Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), Northern California’s first-ever support and action group for young people living with breast cancer.

How BAYS and MITC came to be

In 2002, Angela Padilla commissioned a photographer friend to document her experience as a young woman undergoing breast cancer treatment. In 2003, Angela invited Ruth Borenstein and Deb Mosley, friends who had also been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and were also attorneys at the same firm, to organize a fundraiser featuring the photographs of Angela’s cancer journey. The three women called themselves RAD (Ruth, Angela, Deb), the predecessor to what would later become known as Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS).
In addition to fundraising, RAD was committed to community-building and advocacy. Both Angela and Deb had tried cancer support groups but found themselves the youngest people in the room – sometimes by decades. They didn’t feel comfortable talking about the issues that mattered most to them: relationships, sexuality, fertility, career. They also wanted to change the public narrative on what it means to be a young person living with cancer. In 2004, Angela and Deb decided to form BAYS, a support and action group specifically geared for young women with breast cancer.
From its inception, BAYS prided itself on diversity. BAYS members were straight and queer, white and BIPOC, partnered and single, professional and working class, Stage 0 (pre-cancer) to Stage 4 (metastatic). As BAYS grew, however, Deb recognized that members who were newly diagnosed or had early-stage disease were often unsettled, if not outright frightened, hearing from members with metastatic disease such as herself. Deb decided to create a sub-group exclusively for members with Stage 4 cancer, calling it Mets in the City (MITC).
In 2007, Deb, Angela, and a small group of BAYS members formed the first board of directors and filed the necessary paperwork to ensure the organization endured. BAYS was certified as an official California corporation and IRS-approved non-profit. Deb died the following year at the age of 40.

Help us hit our $100,000 fundraising goal!

BAYS is an entirely volunteer- and survivor-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Most of the BAYS budget comes from donations, and we have set a $100,000 fundraising goal for this event. This funding ensures that we can serve more than 100 new members who join BAYS every year while providing meaningful programming for all our members for years to come.