HERS Breast Cancer Foundation

A soft place to fall.

aka HERS Breast Cancer Foundation   |   Fremont, CA   |


Our mission is to support all individuals healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services, regardless of financial status.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Tina Fernandez Steckler

Main address

2500 Mowry Avenue Suite 130

Fremont, CA 94538 USA

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Formerly known as

Bras for Body and Soul

HERS Breast Cancer Foundation



NTEE code info

Health Support Services (E60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (E19)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

HERS was founded to address breast cancer survivors’ unique needs by providing high quality post-surgical products in a safe, beautiful, supportive, and welcoming environment. A breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating for many patients. Their worries might be broad, such as anxiety about their prognosis to deeply personal concerns, such as worries about their post-mastectomy or lumpectomy appearance and the impact on their self-esteem and confidence. HERS approaches each patients as an individual, assessing their concerns, and fitting them with products that will aid their physical and emotional healing process. Each member of our team is trained to treat patients with compassion. For low income and under-insured patients, our Assistance Programs, funded by donations, grants, and HERS fundraisers, provide them with post-surgical products and serves. We firmly believe patients should have access to the products and services they need and deserve.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

WE Support, YOU Survive

This program provides post-surgical garments such as camisoles, bras, and prostheses to individuals who are underserved (under-insured, uninsured, and/or low income).

HERS Breast Care Specialists receive a minimum of 250 hours of training to become certified in prosthetic fitting.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Patients who have lymph nodes removed can experience lymphedema, a condition that can cause swelling, discomfort or pain, risk of infection, and reduced range of motion, among other symptoms.

Ranging from mild to severe, lymphedema can change one's physical appearance, thereby affecting emotional well-being.

Compression garments (arm sleeves, gloves, gauntlets) can alleviate symptoms. This program provides expert fitting services and compression garments to those in need.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

For patients who experience hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment, this program provides wigs and other head coverings.

Board certified cosmetologists provide compassionate, expert style and fit consultations in a private salon setting at our Fremont Program Store. For patients who prefer alternatives to wigs, flattering and comfortable caps, scarves, and hats are available.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance, Member 2024

Member, Fremont (CA) Chamber of Commerce 2024

Member, Pleasanton (CA) Chamber of Commerce 2024

Member, San Leandro (CA) Chamber of Commerce 2024

Bay Area News Group Best Nonprofit 2020

Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame 2019

Senate of Congressional Recognition (Congressman Eric Swalwell) 2018

Special Congressional Recognition (Congressman Ro Khanna) 2018

State of California Senate Recognition (Senator Bob Wieckowski) 2018

Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition, Member 2024

Silicon Valley Cancer Coalition 2021

Bay Area News Group Best of Fremont (Nonprofit) 2022

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to restore each of our patients' sense of HERS -- Hope, Empowerment, Renewal, and Support. We strive to help breast cancer survivors have

Hope - belief in a promising future
Empowerment - strength and knowledge for the journey ahead
Renewal - restores self-image and physical healing
Support - a community of compassion, aid, and advocacy

We do this by providing a compassionate experience in beautiful spaces. Our Program Store locations are known for being as lovely as they are warm; they are the opposite of typical clinical settings. Our Certified Mastectomy Fitters assist each patient in a manner that is professional yet warm. During the consultation and fitting process, patients are helped to feel more positive about their post-surgical bodies and are able to choose from products ranging from pocketed bras and breast forms that enhance their appearance to compression garments which and post-surgical supportive camisoles which aid their healing and overall health.

HERS Breast Cancer Foundation operates three Program Store locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under-served patients may access products and fitting services via our three Assistance Programs.

WE Support, YOU Survive provides post-surgical support camisoles and pocketed bras and breast forms. Our Lymphedema Project provides compression sleeves, gloves, and gauntlets for patients who have developed lymphedema, a condition that causes pain and swelling due to lymph nodes removal or radiation damage. A fourth program is insurance write-offs. For patients who are under-insured and unable to afford co-payments, our Write-Off Fund cover these costs.

The programs are funded by two major fundraisers hosted by HERS, community-led fundraisers that take place throughout the year but most prominently during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, foundation grants, and our year-end/holiday direct mail campaign. Our annual budget includes nearly $185,000 in products for under-served patients which is funded as described above and our fundraising and marketing/communication plans are designed to support our fundraising efforts and success.

We have earned and retained our community's trust over the years. This allows us to raise funds successfully through our annual gala and walk/run events. Our reputation also helps us retain our patients' and our donors' loyalty. Our staff, Board members, and volunteers work hard to serve as Community Ambassadors, so that stakeholders are kept informed about our work and accomplishments, our funding or other needs, and to help us thank those who support us.

HERS participates, as much as possible, in community events, such as health fairs, supports peer nonprofits by sharing information and attending other nonprofit events, and we also publish a semi-monthly newsletter and post often to social media to help our patients and stakeholders feel connected.

Our core values are Communication, Trust, Respect, and Teamwork and these values apply not just to our internal operations but extends to our community interactions as well.

As stated above, fundraisers by HERS and community members are instrumental to keep our Programs viable. In addition, grant writing is essential. Our Program Store locations operate in donated spaces for which we hold long-term agreements. The lack rent and facilities overhead also allows us to operate our Programs successfully. Our Program Store donors are: Washington Hospital Healthcare System (Fremont), Kaiser Permanente (San Leandro), and Stanford Health Care ValleyCare.

Each year we successfully host our two major fundraisers, our spring People with Purpose Gala, and our fall 5k/10k Walk/Run & Community Expo. The combined net income average for the events is $200,000. Our foundation grant annual goal is $

HERS has obtained and retained the respect and support of a broad range of our diverse communities. Our stakeholders provide funding, attend our events, are patients, and provide referrals to survivors. This is a tremendous accomplishment and we've worked hard to attain this support. Many of our patients tell us that HERS is like "family" to them. Our tag line, "a soft place to fall," was coined by one of our dear patients who told us that HERS was her "soft place to fall" during one of the hardest time of her life. We have patients who call just to say hello and we have a wall full of thank you notes -- HERS Fan Mail -- that we proudly display. Those notes of appreciation and love mean the world to the HERS Team.

Second, HERS was able to establish a location in Fremont through our partnership with Washington Hospital -- an amazing accomplishment given the Foundation's humble beginning in a borrowed retail space! Our expansion to San Leandro in Alameda County, north of Fremont, and to Pleasanton, east of Fremont, have allowed us to reach a broader segment of Bay Area residents. What began as a local (Fremont, Newark, and Union City -- the "Tri-Cities" community resource) has now grown so that we serve residents from all nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.

Third, over the years HERS has had some amazing staff and Board members, and volunteers become part of our family. Our team is, now more than ever, extremely diverse. Many of our team members are first generation Americans or have immigrated from other countries and we're proud of our diversity. Languages spoken include Spanish, Tagalog, Italian, Portuguese, and several Malay dialects. This diversity has not gone unnoticed by our patients; many have expressed relief and thanks that they can be served in their first language.

We are strongly committed to continue supporting to all individuals healing from breast cancer. We are also committed to thinking "outside the box" in terms meeting patient needs and obtaining funding. Looking ahead, we hope to open our satellite locations (San Leandro and Pleasanton) three days per week so that we may serve more patients and to further encourage our team members to refine their leadership and organizational skills.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve


HERS Breast Cancer Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

HERS Breast Cancer Foundation

Board of directors
as of 02/05/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Kirstin Litz

Board co-chair

Gisela Hernandez

Washington Hospital Healathcare System

Term: 2019 -

Funda Dervisoglu


Gisela Hernandez

Washington Hospital Healthcare System

Sanjiv Datt

Kaiser Permanente

Tammi Tyson


Maria Devassy


Ratna Tripathi


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/5/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/11/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.