Our Origin

In 2009, my world was changed.

My best friend, Cecy, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. Although she had insurance and a referral from her physician, Cecy was initially denied breast screening services because of her age and was recommended for “mammography at age 40” by a medical professional. Cecy was not satisfied with this answer, and with the overwhelming feeling that something wasn’t right, she advocated for her health. As a direct result of her persistence, she discovered that she was living with breast cancer.

The healthcare system failed Cecy and it fueled me to take action.

I believe No one is immune to breast cancer.

Including women under 40. This truth was staring right at me and I had to take action. So I did what I do best. I lifted a barbell. I had this amazing community of athletes supporting me and what I wanted to do. After Cecy’s treatment, in a small parking lot in Southern California, a group of 60 friends and athletes came together and raised $4,000 for Cecy.  

Cecy selflessly asked that the funds raised be used to help others.

Barbells for Boobs was born.

Her positive approach to life is heavily influenced by her love of the Rasta Culture.

Z is a mom, wife, athlete, and a self-made CEO. In 10 years, Z and the community have grown Barbells for Boobs into a global movement that began with a critical need in early detection and has evolved into providing critical resources after diagnosis through physical activity with a focus of support and education.

Being a Rasta is saying you stand for truth, love and positivity,” says Z. With this in mind, coupled with her strong drive, Z continues to instill this as the foundation of her organization. Her focus on a grassroots approach to social entrepreneurship has attracted so many to support the mission and cause, that ultimately stemmed from her commitment to her best friend.

“People are my passion. I love giving people that one on one love and support. This is how we will continue to grow Barbells for Boobs… Quality over Quantity.”
- Zionna Hanson, Founder