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Meet Genevieve Rickmeyer Sounia

Genevieve Rickmeyer Sounia was a vibrant spirit. She celebrated life through adventure and new conversations. She was a devoted wife, loving mother of two, daughter, friend and Army captain. And when she was given a Stage IV diagnosis of an aggressive breast cancer, she chose to live her life to the fullest. Just two weeks shy of her 35th birthday, Genevieve’s life was taken by this disease. But today, her smile, compassion and love of the 5 F’s (faith, family, friends, food, and fitness) live on to help fellow mothers going through breast cancer treatment.

One week after Genevieve’s passing, her mother and friends decided they wanted to carry her spirit forward. They boldly created the 501c3 non-profit, Genevieve’s Helping Hands in her honor. “We became the hands to help others,” says Anne Rickmeyer, Genevieve’s mother and organization President. “For all of us, Genevieve is our north star for whatever we do. She was amazing.”

The Impact of Genevieve’s Helping Hands

Now going on eight years, Anne considers the organization to be Pinehurst’s best kept secret. The heart of what they do is a “Stay Grant” for mothers who have been diagnosed before 40 and currently going through treatment. These grants accommodate hotel stays, food and transportation for up to three nights to help their healing. For Stage IV thrivers, the grant is considered a “Respite Grant.”

During her treatment, Genevieve had stayed at the Clara Mclean House and recognized that her out of home stay helped her heal faster following surgery. Anne would bring her granddaughters to visit their mother, but otherwise Genevieve enjoyed the serene landscape to drift away, heal and recover. This experience stayed with Anne and her friends, and they knew they wanted to help in this capacity.

Today, Genevieve’s Helping Hands has helped more than 70 mothers who at the time were facing breast cancer treatment across 47 states. Their mission continues. They have sights on extending their support to the children exposed to this difficult reality this coming November. Anne and her team have also focused on survivorship communication with support groups.

And They Also Lift Up Others Looking to Help

You may remember reading about local breast cancer support organizations, Healing Pines Respite and Beacon Bragg. Both are breast cancer survivor led organizations, have local ties to the Land of the Pines, support breast cancer patients and survivors, and have one other thing in common: they both got their start in officially accepting donations through a one-year fiscal partnership with Genevieve’s Helping Hands. “Genevieve leads me to meet the nicest people,” says Anne. She hopes to continue to lift up more organizations who can help this community.

What You Can Do

Anne and her team are always accepting donations and charitable event partners to ensure their mission continues for years to come. Donors can sponsor grants, events and programs. If you know a mother in active treatment who could benefit from a grant, please pass this information along. To learn more, visit Genevieve’s Helping Hands.

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