Anne Havens is a 42-year-old yoga instructor, mother of two and a self-described health and wellness advocate. By all appearances, she’s a picture of health — but some things are unpreventable. One year ago, Havens was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer.
In addition to conventional medications, Havens is participating in an experimental patient initiative with Colorado-based cannabis research startup TreatmentX. The initiative, which involves connecting patients with caregivers for cannabis-based treatment, isn’t covered by her insurance and costs around $4,000 for just three months of treatment. To alleviate the financial burden, Shannon Clark, a friend of Havens’ who also works at TreatmentX, used her passion for local music to organize a benefit concert.
Billed as “Anne Cann! Healing Cancer Through Cannabis and Community,” the event will take place this Sunday, June 17, at Cervantes’ Other Side, with Colorado music acts Hardscrabble and Andrew McConathy (of the Drunken Hearts) & Friends set to perform.
Breast cancer runs in Havens’ family tree, she says, with her and relatives carrying the BRCA2 gene, a mutation susceptible to the disease. Her grandmother, aunt and cousin have all passed away from breast cancer, but Havens hopes to join her sister and mother as long-term survivors. “I’m extremely healthy, I take care of myself very well. [But] They say one to two percent of breast cancer is genetic, and that’s me,” she explains. “According to my oncologist, as you pass it down genetically, the gene gets stronger. So, that sucks for my girls…but my husband doesn’t have the gene, so they might not get it.”
Anne Cann! runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 17.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Havens began a painful holistic treatment, taking hormone-blockers recommended by her oncologist, changing her diet and even taking cannabidiol