I can't believe it's been FOUR YEARS since my diagnosis of Stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer in March 2016. I am grateful that I am still here talking to you and planning for my 5th year at Tour de Pink, when so many of my friends are not. Four years feels like a lifetime when you're dealing with terminal cancer. I know I don't look that different than I did four years ago, but I feel like an entirely different person.
Here is a look at how different my life is now:
- I have participated in 5 Tour de Pinks (4 East, 1 West)
- I have traveled the country, visiting friends and family
- I have been through two rounds of radiation on my lungs
- I have moved on from two treatment plans when they stopped working
- I have gained 20 pounds (I blame Lupron...and the stress eating)
- I have made progress in therapy, as I try to cope with the realities of my life
- I have met countless new friends with breast cancer through YSC
- I have lost MORE THAN A DOZEN friends to breast cancer since being diagnosed as metastatic. Two of them were riding along side me at Tour de Pink in 2019.
Let that last one sink in. That is why we need your help. Young women, like myself, are being diagnosed with this awful disease every day. We need a place to meet others like us, even if that place is online.
I have found true friendship in YSC's Online Metastatic Support Group over the years. Believe me, these women (including myself) are BRAVE for continuing to attend and engage with others that have a Stage IV diagnosis. We connect, we open up, we love, and every year we lose some of our own. It's heartbreaking at times, but nobody understands like they do.
I am also a trained RISE advocate, bringing my knowledge and expertise to conferences and panels so that young women with breast cancer have a seat at the table. Our needs are different than the general breast cancer community, which is why it's important that YSC programs get funded.
Fundraising during a pandemic is not going to be easy. We have an uphill battle this year, because the world is hurting right now. But we still need this programing to continue to exist. If you have the means, no matter how big or small your donation, it is greatly appreciated!
**A SPECIAL OFFER**
For anyone who is able to donate $100 or more through my personal fundraising page, I will be mailing you a handmade print, made by yours truly. Last year's design was a sloth riding a bicycle. This year's design is still TBD, but it will be unique and it is my 'Thanks' to you for continuing to support me throughout this process.
Big love and virtual hugs,
Established in 1998, Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the largest nonprofit dedicated exclusively to young adults diagnosed with breast cancer age 40 and under and their co-survivor support networks. YSC also educates and influences the medical, research and legislative communities to address breast cancer in young adults. Through educational resources and programming, annual conferences, and local and online support networks, YSC ensures no young adult faces breast cancer alone. For more information, visit youngsurvival.org.
You can view YSC’s audited financials and annual reports online here: youngsurvival.org/who-we-are/financial-information
How will your donation help?
$25 could fund YSC materials at three healthcare providers’ offices.
$100 could provide a Newly Diagnosed Navigator to six women when they need it most.
$250 could allow us to train four survivors to serve as a peer supporters.
$500 could fund a survivor advocate in our RISE training program
$1,200 could pay for two young women to travel to the YSC Summit, an annual conference for young women affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors.