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Welcome to Rachael Walker's Page

Rachael Walker

Rachael Walker

To mark the 6th anniversary of completing treatment for breast cancer, for the second year, I am joining the Tour de Pink in support of the Young Survival Coalition. Along with my dad, who rode in the Pan Mass Challenge to support the Jimmy Fund for many years well before I got cancer (or bought a bike), I'll be cruising to raise money for this important organization.

When I was diagnosed at age 36 in 2016, I did not even know that groups dedicated to women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40 existed. I felt completely alien and alone from the moment of my diagnosis, when the staff at the breast imaging center handed me the "oops, you have breast cancer" pamphlet that was filled with pictures of women my mother's age. The five years since have been a constant reminder that young women are not the usual cohort for breast cancer. The standards of care for us are based on research done on postmenopausal women. For those of us whose cancers are hormone-positive, longterm survival depends upon endocrinal treatment that forces us into menopause; very few of us are adequately prepared for the effects of menopause on our physical and emotional health. Mental health in survivorship is under-researched and under-supported. The list of my unpleasant discoveries since diagnosis goes on and on.

It wasn't until the end of 2019 that a social worker at my new oncologist after relocating told me about organizations like the Young Survival Coalition. I've learned so much from other patients and survivors involved with YSC that I never learned from doctors. Education, support, advocacy - YSC provides invaluable help for women like me.

I wish I had known about YSC when I was diagnosed, but I'm grateful for the information, support, and care it has provided me since I finally came into the fold. I'm here to raise money to help other young people get the support that they need.

Thanks for reading. Any support you can give me towards my fundraising goal is huge, and you'll never know how grateful I and other breast cancer patients, survivors, and thrivers are for what your help means that YSC can accomplish.

More about YSC:

YSC is the largest nonprofit dedicated exclusively to young adults diagnosed with breast cancer age 40 and under and their co-survivor support networks. 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
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