Join us on sample date
Every dollar raised through YSC Champions fundraisers will support YSC’s mission to ensure no young woman faces breast cancer alone. Click on a photo below to read the story.
I was diagnosed in January 2015 at age 28 with HER2+, Stage III breast cancer. I did six cycles of TCHP, but only had a partial response and there was a lot of residual disease removed during my mastectomy. When they did the follow up pathology, my results came back Triple Negative. When we retested a third time, I came back 5% PR+. My doctor had never seen something like this. My mom always told me I was special, but I don't think this is what she had in mind! I signed up for more treatments ending with my last session on June 29th, 2016! It has been a wild trip, but I've learned so much about myself and I feel like I've found my voice as I work towards becoming an advocate for others.
When I was first diagnosed, YSC was one of the first organizations I found and reached out to for support and resources. When I heard that the Summit was going to be in Atlanta, just a seven hour drive from my home in Cape Canaveral, Florida, I knew I had to go. There are not many young women with breast cancer in my area and it was very isolating. As I was shelling out more and more money for treatments and second opinions and therapy, I was afraid making the trip wasn't going to be in my budget. When I found about about the Summit Fundraising, I figured I'd give it a shot. It's not easy to ask people for money, but the truth is most everyone wants to help you through this disease in some way and they don't know how. After I built my Summit Fundraising page, I shared the link on social media and through my email group filled with family friends and people from my parent's church. From that it just grew organically, and I hit my first goal in under 24 hours. Friends shared the link and I was getting donations from all over the country. It was such an incredible feeling to see how many people, some I hardly knew, wanted to help me on my path to wellness. It also felt good knowing that not only would these funds help me get to the Summit, but would also benefit YSC and help other women in my same position.
My mom and I attended the Summit together and had an incredible time. I became a more empowered patient as I sat in rooms filled with other survivors and made lasting bonds with women who could really understand what I was going through. I am so thankful for the experience to attend such a great event. YSC has been one of the few places I can turn to again and again, regardless of what stage of treatment I'm in, whether for support from other women or educational resources. It has really been a sanity saver and I'm so grateful I was able to attend the Summit and meet so many fantastic people in real life. I'm hoping to be able to attend the Summit for years to come, even if I don't need to fundraise to get there.
When speaking to others who were diagnosed with breast cancer, all of our stories are different, but the one thing we have in common was the day we heard the words, “You have breast cancer.”
May 2014, 21 days shy of my 35 concerned about it but was determined that the incident would not ruin my day as my husband prepared to graduate with his second doctoral degree.
Upon our return from celebrating a second doctoral degree, I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist, which resulted in an appointment at the breast center. After a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy, all in one day, which resulted in no visual findings, I requested the removal of what was causing the bloody nipple discharge. After more appointments, unsure opinions ad well as conflicting ones, I was asked to have an MRI. From this appointment, they informed me of the MRI results, which were multiple fibroid adenomas in the left breast and nothing in the problematic right breast.The recommendation was for me to have biopsies to remove the fibroid adenomas and have another biopsy in the right breast. After these biopsies, once again everything came back normal and the radiologist requested that my surgeon go in blind to remove the problematic area in the right breast.
My diagnosis came on August 21, 2014 DCIS approximately 3 cm, ER/PR +, and HER2 negative.
With only two known cases of breast cancer in my family, my husband and I decided that I would have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. We didn’t have any second thoughts about our decision, even though my oncologist thought I was being aggressive. Through numerous biopsies and surgeries, putting on the full armor of God, the support of my husband, family and friends, I was able to fight through the ring making tough decisions.
At the end of the day, I have learned that you are your own advocate. I was not looking for a support group, but YSC Palmetto Pals found me when I needed someone who understood my plight. When I visited my first local chapter meeting, I knew I wanted to learn more about this organization. In 2014 my husband and I attended our first YSC Summit, and I did not realize how many women were diagnosed each day. At the Summit, my husband met an individual with a similar diagnosis as myself. With my spouse’s experience in cancer research, and discussions with this individual, our next decision was a total hysterectomy to decrease my chances of a reoccurrence of breast cancer. Our attendance at the YSC Summits continue to educate my husband and I in the recent studies of breast cancer and most importantly, let others know that they are not alone.
I decided to participate in fundraising for YSC Summit to increase breast cancer awareness in our local community, state, and country. For an organization that provides awareness and brings survivors and cosurvivors together to know that they are not alone, fundraising was not as difficult as I thought it would be. To succeed in my fundraising efforts, I connected with friends via social media and encouraged everyone to take part. Any amount that one contributes will count towards breast cancer education and support, so take part in fundraising for YSC Summit!
The day after my husband's birthday and the day before my daughter's birth, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (HER2+, Stage 2, Grade 3) on November 18, 2014. I felt a lump in my left breast the day before my due date with our daughter, Quinn. Two days later at the 40week appointment, my midwife confirmed that I had a mass that was a little bit bigger than a golf ball. Two days later, we were given the devastating news that it was a malignant tumor.
Being diagnosed with cancer within hours of the induction process to welcome Quinn into the world was surreal and I'm not sure that it's actually set in yet to be honest. Nonetheless, on December 5, 2014, I had a lumpectomy. My left breast has earned the nickname "Frankenboob" :). I simultaneously went through fertility preservation and then started my chemotherapy regimen in January 2015 (6 rounds of taxotere and carboplatin). I was also given herceptin infusions for 16 months. While trying to navigate firsttime motherhood and cancer treatment, my husband and I each changed jobs, moved 2 hours away, and I passed my state and national licensure exams for psychology. I'm tired just from typing that! It has certainly been a whirlwind for the better part of two years, but I'm happy to report that I received my last treatment on April 1, 2016!
I decided to attend the Summit, in part, to see fellow survivors that I met at a retreat for survivors. Also, I didn't belong to a support group yet and was eager to hear about scientific updates from the leaders in our cancer world. I decided to fundraise using Summit Fundraising because I wanted a portion of my efforts to be given back to YSC. Even though I had yet to attend YSC, my fellow cancer survivors told me about the wonderful organization of YSC. For fundraising, I started a CaringBridge blog after being diagnosed for friends and family to have updates on my progress. I would post the fundraising hyperlink to my blog updates and then share it on Facebook as well.
I liked Summit Fundraising because it seemed to give others an opportunity to do something for me, especially those that live far from me. It was also nice to be passionate and concerned about causes other than my own health.