Here are our authors – we love them, you should too!
Here are our authors – we love them, you should too!
I am a stage 4 Neuroblastoma Brain & Thyroid Cancer Survivor. In my lifetime I have done chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, and many surgeries. My entire life has been a battle against cancer and the reality of life after cancer. Now as an adult I am choosing to break free from cancer and share my journey with others. I hope to inspire and help others like me heal, find hope and courage during and after cancer.View Posts by Arely Acuna
Ariane Ambriz was born and raised in Houston, TX. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 26 in 2009 and relapsed 20 months later. Ariane had a double-cord blood transplant in February 2012. She currently lives in Cypress, TX, with her husband and two sons. Ariane is working on her debut novel.View Posts by Ariane Ambriz
Jennifer was diagnosis with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2012, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments for 8 months. Jennifer is now a survivor and cancer free for 7 years!
“Never in my life did I think I’d be writing this, for a magazine for young adults affected by cancer. But then again, never did I think I’d get the exclusive invite to this horrible cancer club. But here I am, and if you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the club too.”View Posts by Jennifer Anand
Amelia Baffa is the Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Nurse Navigator at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Ms. Baffa is responsible for care coordination, onco-fertility preservation, program and service line development, patient and staff education, AYA research, and program funding.View Posts by Amelia Baffa
JoAnna Barker is a 20- something who defeated cancer and wrote a book about it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and then you’ll find multiple references to books and movies that she some how related to cancer. Don’t be fooled, if you don’t have cancer you’ll still love this book. It’s a great read for people with cancer, people who love people with cancer, and people who just want to know how to relate. We hope you enjoy this reading journey. Trust us, it’s not what you’ll expect!View Posts by JoAnna Barker
Sarah Bartosz is the President of the Gold In September (G9). G9 is dedicated to growing awareness, inspiring action, and funding research for childhood cancer. Pediatric cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease of children in the U.S. Despite the need for progress, childhood cancer awareness and financial support have not reached the same national level as other cancer awareness campaigns. Gold (G) is the recognized color for childhood cancer and September (9) is designated as National Childhood Cancer Awareness month; together, they make G9. G9 directly benefits the entire childhood cancer community with gold alliance. Through global research, strategic partners, and an altruistic, innovative approach, G9 is planting seeds of hope to grow gold.View Posts by Sarah Bartosz
Kasey Bass is a thyroid cancer survivor (at age 20) and a single mom of 5 kids. She’s an English professor and a published writer who writes about literature, art, and technology, and she’s a ceramics artist, a model, and an athlete–a NASM certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, rock climber, boxer, and skydiver. She believes in living life to the fullest and living with joy–she sees every day as a party she gets to throw, even if it’s just for herself.View Posts by Kasey Bass
David Bays is a young adult lymphoma survivor. He finished treatment two years and now studies acting at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. When he is not in school, he is writing music and performing it anywhere he can as a DIY singer/songwriter. He just released his first full-length album, “Aspects of Adjustment”, in April. It focuses on his experiences of returning back to normal life after treatment.View Posts by David Bays
Gaby is a public relations and communications professional living in the Boston area with her husband, 9 year old stepson, rescue chihuahua-rat terrier and a leopard gecko. When she is not battling cancer, she runs marathons (she has run 7 total!), is an avid indoor cycler, and tinkers with baking and cooking. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @Gabyberk.View Posts by Gaby Berkman
Justin Birckbichler is a men’s health activist, testicular cancer survivor, and the founder of aBallsySenseofTumor.com. In November 2016, he was diagnosed with stage II testicular cancer at the age of 25. Throughout his diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, and being cleared in remission in March 2017, he has been passionate about sharing his story to spread awareness about testicular cancer, promote open conversation about men’s health, and talk about the unspoken realities of being a cancer survivor.View Posts by Justin Birckbichler
Melissa Mateo Blank lives in South Carolina. She has a Master’s in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, and before being diagnosed with brain cancer, taught English Composition and American Literature at a local community college for five years. She loves old science fiction, good coffee, hiking, camping and spending time with her husband and her 100 lb. dog. She often uses her inappropriate sense of humor and a heavy dose of sarcasm to mock that which is trying to kill her, because if she can’t laugh at it every once in a while, what else can she do?View Posts by Melissa Blank
Beverly was an English teacher and a writer before she was diagnosed with stage 4, triple negative breast cancer. She then began focusing her writing on cancer-related issues. Beverly writes a blog for her surgeon, Chanu Dasari MD, on his cancer outreach website (www.silverlining.vegas). After her surgery, she wanted to find ways to help others deal with the difficulties of cancer. Beverly became a mentor to patients both locally and for the American Cancer Society. In addition, she is the admin for the Facebook and Instagram pages, Silver Lining Vegas, where she posts helpful information and news about cancer.
Beverly and her husband, Frank, make their home in rural Nevada, 60 miles outside of Las Vegas. She is active in her local church where she enjoys leading a Bible study for women. Beverly claims she used to have many hobbies, but now her free time is spent on her favorite pastime, playing with her grandchildren.View Posts by Beverly Bradley
Vickie Buenger grew up in various small towns in Texas, including College Station and Alvin. She serves as Clinical Professor at the Mays Business School with a joint appointment to the Professional Program for Biotechnology at Texas A&M University. She teaches competitive and cooperative business strategy and project management.
Vickie’s daughter, Erin, fought neuroblastoma for seven years. Since Erin’s death in 2009, Vickie has devoted time and energy to launching the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2) on behalf of the many dedicated organizations and individuals striving to make a difference for children with cancer. She currently serves as President of CAC2.View Posts by Vickie Buenger
Kim is the Founder & Executive Director of Momcology, a community-building nonprofit organization committed to supporting caregivers of children diagnosed with cancer through innovative peer-based programming. Kim is asked to advise, consult and contribute to many endeavors within the professional childhood cancer care community, she is currently a parent stakeholder on the implementation of the evidence-based Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT) in pediatric cancer, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2) and was appointed to the Children’s Oncology Group Patient Advocacy Committee (COG PAC). Kim recently co-authored an abstract on Momcology’s hospital-based support group program that will be presented at the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) in 2019. Kim’s survivor son, Matthew (ALL Leukemia), will be a Sophmore at Emory University this year where he is studying biology with a pre-med track. Kim is happy to report that both she and Matthew made it through Freshman year with flying colors.View Posts by Kim Buff
Ex-Floridian who proudly calls Denver home. Spends life writing, arting for pleasure and commission, sending letters to buds, and mothering Sweetums the cat. Her unique perspective is a result of an extreme solo life journey. In treatment for Breast Cancer, post initial chemo and double mastectomy, enjoying maintenance chemo, coordinating specialists, and endless bureaucracy. Her favorite hobby is comedy and not taking herself or her disease too seriously; she loves self deprecating humor, but isn’t very good at it.View Posts by Jenny Burbank
Courtney Burnett is an internal medicine physician living and working in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She studied medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL and completed internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota. She has written many scientific publications, but Difficult Gifts is her first memoir. She is actively involved in brain cancer advocacy, speaking events, and outreach. Contact Courtney for speaking engagement requests at courtney.burnett264@gmail or follow her on Instagram (courtneyjburnett) or Twitter (@CourtneyB_MD).View Posts by Courtney Burnett
Lindsay is a 38 year old mom of two and a three time cancer survivor from Connecticut.View Posts by Lindsay Cacavollia
Christa is a three year Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, who has a passion for singing, writing, and life. She lives with her Gallant cat, Georgie.View Posts by Christa Carlucci
Anny was diagnosed with Stage 3B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November 2017 during her junior year of college. She underwent seven months of chemotherapy treatment while continuing to attend classes for mechanical engineering at The University of Akron. Anny currently works as a design engineer at an aerospace company and recently celebrated being two years cancer free!
Facebook: Anny Carroll
Mallory is the CEO and Founder of Lacuna Loft. She has an MS and half a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her Master’s and PhD, Mallory worked with the Air Force Research Lab as well as NASA on high temperature metal fatigue experiments and simulations. She left graduate school in August 2013 and launched a nonprofit, Lacuna Loft, in April 2015. Applying her love for engineering and technology to her nonprofit endeavor, Mallory manages operations, programs, and development at Lacuna Loft where online support programs and resources are provided to young adult cancer survivors and caregivers in the comfort of their own homes. Mallory is an avid lover of animals, running, swimming, hiking, being outside, reading, making things, and TV or movie marathons.View Posts by Mallory Casperson
Jessica is an advocacy and marketing pro who has advised elected officials, corporate CEOs, and wellness organizations. At the young age of 39, Jessica was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer, and her longtime yoga practice gave her the resilience she needed to beat the disease. Of note, she was able to keep up with her practice throughout cancer treatment thanks to the help of her beloved yoga teachers who showed her modifications. After beating cancer, Jessica became a yoga teacher, too, to help make this practice accessible to more people. Her favorite Yoga Pose is Birds of Paradise because she fought back from pelvic radiation and toe neuropathy in order to stick this challenging balance once again.
Check out Jessica’s website and Book coming in Fall 2021 by clicking here.View Posts by Jessica Catlin
Megan-Claire Chase, also known as Warrior Megsie, is a 4-year breast cancer survivor in Atlanta, GA. She is a sought-after influencer and blogger in the Young Adult Cancer community both nationally and internationally. Her blog, Life on the Cancer Train, is about her life post breast cancer (Stage IIA Invasive Lobular) and the struggles of being a young adult cancer patient/survivor while advocating for better treatments and resources. Megan-Claire’s writing is known for being authentic, raw, and informative with a twist of humor. It is also syndicated on Cancer Health Magazine’s website. She’s been a guest blogger for multiple cancer support sites including Lacuna Loft, SHARE Cancer Support, and Humor Beats Cancer. Her blog is syndicated on Cancer Health Magazine’s website. Megan-Claire was featured this year in The New York Times in April and People magazine in June discussing the concerns of receiving cancer treatments during COVID-19. Her cat Nathan (Natey) Edgar is her pride and joy.View Posts by Megan-Claire Chase
Please Send Hats is a wonderful memoir that tells Laura Clark-Hansen’s moving and often hilarious story of cancer survival. She combines vibrant reflections on her Baby Boomer past as she tells the story about the transformative power that cancer can have as it…Rearranges the present…Evokes memories of the past, and…Forever changes the future.”
I’m Olivia Clarke and I’m a cancer survivor. I almost knock on wood every time I say those words because I’m always afraid my cancer will visit my doorstep again. I experience moments where I feel like a rock star and moments where I wonder if every new ache or bump is a sign of cancer coming back.
There have been moments during this entire cancer business when I couldn’t help at laugh at the crazy questions I’m answering and how in-depth I get about my breasts (I had breast cancer). I have chuckled when some medical staff folks forget that I’m not their great aunt or their grandma with cancer. I am working and now dating. And, I’m trying to be a good aunt, sister, daughter and friend to those around me. Life keeps on going regardless of what disease I’m battling.View Posts by Olivia Clarke
When I was 15 and a half months old, I was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, and given only a 10-40% chance of living until my 6th birthday. After 2 major surgeries, chemo, and radiation, when I was two, I came down with viral encephalitis. My immune system could not fight it because it was wiped out by chemo, and the infection ended up damaging my brain stem. I had two horrible ear infections that nobody caught, so maybe that had something to do with it as well. After this, I lost my strength, my voice, most of my hearing, and my ability to swallow. I always thank God that I’m not an only child because I don’t like to think about where I’d be without my two younger brothers and my sister, who helped show me the way back to myself. People always think I have cerebral palsy, but I wasn’t born with it. It is very similar to it though. I struggle daily with my side effects from treatment, which include disabilities, hearing loss, a speech impairment, radiation-induced scoliosis, I graduated in June 2004 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in English (literature). I have always love writing because it gives me a clear voice. In late 2010, I learned the truth about childhood cancer and I have been an advocate ever since.View Posts by Danielle A. Cloakey
Mary Beth Collins, author of the blog Survivorship Matters posted on www.cac2.org, is a parent advocate with a son who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1999, and juggles a number of chronic side effects from treatment. For 20 year years she has advocated for childhood cancer issues, focused more recently on issues related to survivorship.View Posts by Mary Beth Collins
I am a young breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed with Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer. I currently reside in San Diego, California and was born and raised in northern California. I am a degreed nutritionist who graduated from San Diego State University with a focus in Food and Nutrition. I have dedicated the last 11 years to helping others with the mentality that “Food is medicine” while working at a hospital in the heart of San Diego.View Posts by Amy Correa
Lindsay Crawford, MD is an assistant professor, Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery at University of Texas Houston McGovern Medical School.View Posts by Lindsay Crawford
Teenage cancer survivor, author, blogger and speaker Mette de Fine Licht has written 10 books, including the memoir, Willpower Girl — A Teenager’s Trek Through Cancer. The book is a rare insight into a teenage cancer patient’s mind with all the fear, doubt and longing for a normal teenage life.View Posts by Mette de Fine Licht
Dan is a 15-year survivor of stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Recognizing that few resources exist geared specifically toward men affected by cancer, Dan founded Cancer Dudes to bring men of all ages together to lead amazing, impactful lives after a cancer diagnosis. Dan also plays basketball, hikes, runs, and performs improv comedy.View Posts by Dan Dean
I have the desire to be a powerful and extraordinary in the experience of being human; I am continuously evolving as a survivor, writer, artist, global citizen, and most importantly, a human. My cancer journey led me to find the most unexpected beauty in writing, art, and soul connection within myself and others. My writing genres include poetry, non-fiction, short-stories, and spoken word. My art mainly focuses on the ceramics, oil painting, photography, and charcoal drawing. These mediums have helped me to express my story, epiphanies, and emotions in ways that I cannot grasp otherwise. I hope that my writing and art will also find a home in you. If you have the desire, you can also connect with me at email@example.com or check out my site: www.krishliving.com.View Posts by Krishna Desai
On November 20th of 1998 at the age of 10 I began my cancer journey. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I did 3 years of intense chemo and finished treatment November 2001. One year later November 22 2002, I relapsed with ALL. I went through another 3 years of chemo this time treatment also included cranial radiation. I finally finished treatment in 2005 and thought I was done. I successfully completed high school with my original class despite all the setbacks. I also went on to complete my bachelor of science in medical science contrary to doctors had told my parents.View Posts by Kirsten Efremov
Angharad was diagnosed with a Central Neurocytoma with Hydrocephalus at 28 years old, whilst living and working in London in 2016. She loves her family, dogs, the gym, being active, and absolutely anything to do with the beach. And cake.View Posts by Angharad Elinor
Marloe Esch, RN, BSN, Oncology Certified Nurse, AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor, and young adult cancer survivor, graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Nursing (Go Badgers!) in 2008. She enjoys educating both survivors and healthcare professionals on the topic of cancer and sexuality, and has presented for the Young Survival Coalition, the Oncology Nursing Society, and Planned Parenthood of WI, among others. She holds a certificate from the Sexual Health Certificate Program through the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. An enthusiastic supporter of sexual health and wellness, she is making it her mission to bring sex into the survivorship spotlight.
Marloe works as a Breast Care Nurse Navigator in Milwaukee, WI. She lives in the Bay View neighborhood her husband and their cat, Princess Leia, in a fixer-upper that has “a lot of potential.” When she’s not at work or supervising her husband’s house projects, you’re likely to find her reading, writing, running, playing guitar, or enjoying a cold beverage and contemplating life. She’s also fairly competent at crochet, which comes in handy during the cold, dark Wisconsin winters. Feel free to give her a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what questions you’ve got about sex, intimacy, and cancer!View Posts by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN
Amanda Ferraro runs her own blog called Cancer Is An Asshole – https://allcancerisanasshole.blogspot.com/
Or follow Amanda on social media:
Twitter – @cancerisanass
Colin arrived in Denver, CO in 2004 to attend Regis University for college. During his time at Regis Colin was very involved with a retreat called Kairos. Kairos was very impactful in his life and he wanted to continue to share that with his peers throughout his collegiate experience. During college Colin’s brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After being the emotional support and caregiver for Michael during the last two years at Regis University Colin gained more and more affection for the cancer community and wanting to support all survivors however he could.View Posts by Colin Ferro
Shannon Fitzgerald MS RDN LD, is a school based dietitian in suburban Cleveland. She is the founder of FIT KID TEXT. She teaches yoga and is passionate about healthy living; aiming high and true. Friends, family and especially her four young adult children are her heart and soul.View Posts by Shannon Fitzgerald
Krysten is the CEO for Cancer Warriors Alliance. Krysten has been a caregiver since 2004 and has a background in justice studies, behavioral health, social work, and accounting. She has been very passionately advocating for the cancer community going on four years now. Krysten is also an author and has experience with business accounting.View Posts by Krysten Ford
I am 21 years old, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and July 29th 2020 I finished chemo and a month later was declared in remission/NED! I got engaged during treatment to the man of my dreams and am getting married in April 2021. I used to write all the time through middle school and high school but fell away as I graduated. After diagnosis at 20 and through treatment I got back into writing and found a different way of expressing how I felt by writing poetry. Writing has given me a place I can be to let everything go, good or bad. Thats why I started my blog CancerCouple to document not only my poems but what life is like in the life of a 21 year old cancer fighter and survivor stepping into her marriage and the world again!View Posts by Rachel Ford
Mariah Forster Olson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1980 at the age of one, and as a result, she has many different medical conditions and late effects. She received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin with her husband, Troy, and their two cats, Holly and Isaac. Due to Mariah’s medical issues, however, she does not have a “conventional” job and needs to rest often. However, Mariah works from her laptop on the couch for nine different cancer nonprofits, where she fights childhood cancer by helping patient, survivors, and families. She serves on the Board of Directors and works closely with the Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Society and the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer. Mariah also serves on the State Leadership Board for the American Cancer Society, and she advocates for cancer-related legislation on both the state and federal levels for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Mariah is also writing a book about her life, and plays the oboe professionally in a variety of ensembles in her community. Mariah’s work truly fulfills her, and she has learned that by sharing her story and experiences, as well as working with her nonprofits, she has the possibility to help others and provide hope, understanding, support, and encouragement to those touched by cancer.View Posts by Mariah Forster Olsen
I’ve always believed that sometimes, if you look hard, there might be good that can come from bad. I’ve experienced that in so many ways as I navigate through breast cancer. One good that has come from having cancer is that it actually led me to opening an Etsy shop! Good came from bad. I have always loved making jewelry. Now, having a bald head presented an opportunity to come up with accessories that would make wearing turbans fun! So, I began making beaded turban accessories – beaded bands to jazz up turbans. Add the matching necklace and bracelet, and look out world here I come!
None of us chooses to go through something that actually creates a sometimes unrecognizable reflection in the mirror, but there it is. Wearing my turbans with fun matching beaded turban accessories creates, for me, another good from bad. That is why I opened Accessories of Courage. I want to share what I hope will make you feel good. You deserve good.View Posts by Laura Foster
Colleen Gallagher is an international speaker, published author, world traveler, educator, social media guide, advocate, retreat facilitator, and entrepreneur passionate about empowering people to gain clarity on their purpose, so they can make a massive impact upon humanity– by simply being them.View Posts by Colleen Gallagher
Haley Gallagher is a 28 year old Ewing’s sarcoma survivor from Iowa. She is currently studying Anthropology and Art History, while continuing her passion of photography. She hopes one day she can have a career that involves history and photography. She is an animal lover with two cats, one being a crazy Maine coon kitten, two Corgis, and a guinea pig. She is trying to live her life to the fullest after battling her sarcoma.View Posts by Haley Gallagher
Nick is the Executive Director of the Steven G AYA Cancer Research Fund and President/Co-Founder of Elephants and Tea. The Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Funds’ mission is to support the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer community in wellness, education and research.View Posts by Nick Giallourakis
Angelike (Angie) Giallourakis has a Ph.D. in Special Education and a M.ED. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University.
Prior to her son Steven’s first cancer diagnoses in 2006 she was a college professor at Cleveland State University where she taught future special educators about the importance of being a family centered educator when meeting the needs of children with disabilities. Steven’s second diagnosis in 2009, a BMT (bone marrow transplant) and and the impact of treatment on his survivorship generated Angie’s desire to learn as much as possible about cancer in young people. She founded and serves as President of The Steven G AYA Cancer Research Fund – a non profit charity whose mission is to support AYA Cancer Research, Wellness, Patient Education and Social Support She serves as a Board of Director for the three non-profit charities:
She strongly believes that only through a collaborative and caring spirit will this horrible disease finally be eradicated.View Posts by Angie Giallourakis
Carrie was born and raised near Boston (Go Red Sox). She was a broadcast journalism major at Syracuse University and had a career in corporate writing and marketing, before marrying and staying home to raise Alison and Kyle, now 31 and 28 respectively. Carrie then pursued jobs with Planned Parenthood and Junior Achievement before earning a teaching degree. Carrie taught reading, writing, and her favorite social studies for 5th and 6th graders in Tampa. She is now retired and remarried, living in Pittsburgh.
View Posts by Carrie Giest
Whitney B. Hadley, MA, MSW, LSW – Whitney is the AYA Support Specialist and Community Outreach Coordinator at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. She has a Master’s degree in bioethics and another in social work. She is a Licensed Social Worker. Whitney is a 23 year pediatric cancer survivor. Whitney is also a Board of Directors for The Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund.View Posts by Whitney Hadley
My name is Sheena Harris-Williams. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Chestnut Hill College in the areas of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, along with a Reading Specialist certification. I am an educator. I own and operate a daycare here in Philadelphia. I married the love of my life, James on October 26, 2019. In June 2020, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. I’m currently in treatment and trying to navigate this new journey. I am fortunate to have a loving and supportive host of family and friends.View Posts by Sheena Harris-Williams
Stephen Heaviside is a musician, writer and AYA cancer advocate. He resides in Orange County, California and loves dolphins, true crime documentaries and good coffee. You can follow him on Instagram/Twitter @heavysighed and on Facebook. His music is available on Spotify and Apple Music.View Posts by Stephen Heaviside
Siobhan Hebron is an interdisciplinary artist in Los Angeles with a B.A. in both Art and Art History from UCLA. Her visual and written work explore the experience of cancer through dialogues of illness, chronic conditions, disability, ableism, and the sick female body. She is also currently pursuing a Patient Advocacy certificate.
Marquina Iliev-Piselli is a Digital Marketer and the Founder of AuthorpreneurLaunch.com, which aims to help authors feel empowered, not overwhelmed, by marketing. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, she has a Masters from Columbia University in Instructional Technology & Media. After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, she created the Glam Chemo Project and the Women’s Empowerment Project at Weill Cornell. She is also the editor of the forthcoming essay collection TOUGH: Women Who Survived Cancer, and the founder of the Share Triumph Virtual Conference, which brings survivors’ stories to life and highlights the small steps that bring us back to joy.View Posts by Marquina Iliev-Piselli
Elizabeth was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in July 2017. Over a period of 14 months the cancer spread to her hip, lymph nodes, and brain. As a result of these seemingly overwhelming obstacles her spiritual life was transformed into a deeper and more intimate level. During this time she felt a calling to share her journey by writing a daily devotional for anyone who is enduring or questioning a life-changing challenge.View Posts by Elizabeth Jenkins
Hailey Johnston is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and activist with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She currently works as an advocate for domestic and sexual violence survivors, and she is the founder of Escape: LGBTQIA+ adolescent and young adult cancer support. Once a vaccine is released, and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, she plans to pursue doctoral studies in Public Health and Policy. Hailey is passionate about serving the LGBTQIA+ community and creating equity in healthcare services.View Posts by Hailey Johnston
Ruth Kavanagh is a former defense litigation attorney. After being diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer in 2014 as a young adult seemingly the “girl who had it all”, she became a fierce advocate for brain cancer awareness. She has battled 2 bouts of brain cancer, 7 brain surgeries, epilepsy and a host of other issues stemming from her diagnosis. Nevertheless, she maintains a positive attitude and quick wit.
She is an award-winning fundraiser, motivational speaker and volunteer event planner for numerous charities. Ruth has also served as a Peer-to-Peer Volunteer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and will soon begin volunteering at NYU Langone’s Rusk Inpatient Rehabilitation Center helping fellow “disabled yet able” patients. Her interests include photography, painting, drawing and of course, writing.View Posts by Ruth Kavanagh
John Kirk is a popculture journalist, who immerses himself in the world of Star Trek, super-heroes, and everything a fan of nerdculture would love. John has interviewed many of the creators and personalities who live in this world and whose work can be found in publications like the Eisner Award-winning comics journal, BACK ISSUE, and websites like Trekcore.com or Popmythology.com. If it’s geekworthy, John probably knows it and has written about it.View Posts by John Kirk
I am a PhD student in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. My doctoral work focuses on the psychological adaptation of young cancer patients and survivors. I am exploring the mechanisms of psychopathology and resilience in young survivors to answer questions such as why some survivors do better than others in survivorship. I employ mixed methods, from longitudinal data set analyses to qualitative examination of young survivors’ experiences. I hope to develop a theoretical model of psychopathology and resilience in young cancer survivors and that my results will lead to novel screening approaches as well as preventative measures in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology settings.View Posts by Urska Kosir
Christy Lorio is a New Orleans area native and a stage IV colorectal cancer patient/survivor. She completed here Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing while undergoing treatment twice. She is returning to school in the fall to pursue another MFA in photography. Her photographs and writing have been seen in Slag Glass City, 433 Magazine, Bad Pony, and more.View Posts by Christy Lorio
Vicki Mackie is the Founder and Executive Director of Sites and Insights, Inc. a 501(c)3 nonprofit certified in 2016. The organization offers Mindful Therapeutic Art Programs free to cancer patients/survivors and caregivers.
Vicki is a cancer survivor, author, speaker and entrepreneur. Her education and background in business management, the healthcare field, professional photographer and artist with certifications in various Healing Arts, Palliative Care Healing Arts and other complementary therapies. She is the recipient of the 2018 Women Making a Difference award, the Local, Regional and National Service To Mankind Awards from the Sertoma Organization 2018-2020 and was given the Outstanding Innovative Project Award 2019 from the Colorado Cancer Coalition. She has been recognized by CBS local news, Centennial Colorado Community Spotlight and the Pueblo Chieftain Newspaper. While going through treatments she found her ‘Intentional Art’ to be paramount in her own healing through cancer. As a result, she developed a curriculum proven to help emotional healing through the traumatic and life altering experience of cancer.View Posts by Vicki Mackie
My name is Devyani Mahajan and I am 32 years old. I am a young osteosarcoma survivor. I was diagnosed in 2017, at the age of 30, when I was starting with my research as a doctoral student. I completed treatment last year in 2019. I underwent multiple surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments over a period of two years. Currently, I am working towards finishing up with my Ph.D in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Kansas State University, and looking forward to graduating in December 2020.View Posts by Devyani Mahajan
Ellie Manzano is a bright, kind and energetic 25 year old from South Florida. She received her B.S. in Mathematics with a focus in statistics, has published research (ironically on cancer), and works in Aerospace engineering. She has played music for 20 years (violin and voice) and it is her passion. She also loves botany, cooking, and kayaking in the ocean. Ellie was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma (Brain Tumor) in January 2020 and is currently undergoing active treatment.View Posts by Ellie Manzano
Geri Maroney is a business executive, entrepreneur, mentor, author, and speaker. In her book, Beautiful Lady, she chronicles her own journey through breast cancer, and shares her stories of growth and reawakening. Cancer takes a lot from us, but we don’t often acknowledge the gifts it leaves behind. Geri’s honesty and humor provides inspirational support to other cancer warriors as they fight one of the biggest battles of their life. Maroney lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, with her family. You can find Geri online at https://gmaroney.com, and on Facebook and Instagram.View Posts by Geri Maroney
Genoa Martell considers herself a global citizen, having lived and built teams in Europe, America and Canada. After reinventing herself three times in a career that has spanned a disastrous attempt at Nursing, a highly colorful career in Marketing and an extremely fulfilling career in Talent Acquisition & Recruiting, she decided to start chronicling her insights for anyone who isn’t disinterested by her opinion or perspective. You can contact her at email@example.com.View Posts by Genoa Martell
Trevor is a stage IV colon cancer survivor, and he has a message for other men: You don’t have to go through cancer alone. Trevor is the founder of Man Up to Cancer. Man Up to Cancer inspires men to connect and avoid isolation throughout our cancer journeys. We are changing what it means to “Man Up” in the face of cancer. To us, it means knowing we are smarter and stronger as a pack than we are as lone wolves.View Posts by Trevor Maxwell
Lydia is a 200 hour registered yoga teacher and a one year breast cancer survivor. She is dedicated to helping others overcome adversity. Lydia lives in Texas with her husband and 3 children.View Posts by Lydia McMillan
Rachel Mihalko is the Director of Content at Elephants and Tea and is a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. She loves theatre, writing poetry, and crafting of all sorts. Reading has fueled her passion for writing, and you will rarely find her without a book on hand.View Posts by Rachel Mihalko
Maria is a digital marketing specialist from Marlton, New Jersey. She spends most of her time reading, playing video games, and shopping for cozy sweaters. When she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 25, her dreams about staying home and doing nothing all day came true (and it was horrible). She is a strong advocate for the importance of mental health, especially when it comes to the unique struggles that AYA cancer patients face.View Posts by Maria Minadeo
Stefan has been a leader in the community and now a public voice through experiencing the heartbreaking disease that his thirteen year old daughter had to endure. Stefan has initiated the start of Cancer Response Team, Inc. to help families cope and to give hope after receiving a diagnosis that their child has cancer. He understands the emotional and physical pain that is experienced by the entire family when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Every individual deals with circumstances and situations in different ways, but experiencing that moment of terrifying shock, feeling of helplessness and disbelief that comes with a cancer diagnosis is indescribable, and something that no family should have to endure.
Before Stefan’s daughter, Ashley, passed from astrocytoma brain cancer, he made a promise to Ashley and committed that he will do everything in his power to help make a significant change for families whose children are affected by cancer.
For speaking information, please contact:
Yolanda was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Carlow University. For several years, Yolanda has worked for a healthcare company and until 2016 was living a normal simple life. At the age of 36, Yolanda was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) of the left breast. She had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As a young African American woman, she thought this could never happen to her and more frightening was the inability to find the necessary resources to help her navigate her now “new normal”.View Posts by Yolanda Murphy
Hope lives just outside Baltimore, MD with her husband and two dogs, Zoe and Sandy. By day, she works in injury prevention for the federal government. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking the Chesapeake Bay, hiking with the pups, sewing costumes, and visiting palm trees whenever possible. She has also been known to take statistics classes for fun. One constant through 19 rounds of chemo has been her Hawaiian shirts, both for the easy port access and the smile they put on people’s faces. She is currently awaiting her next PET scan and hoping that the stem-cell-transplant-avoidance-plan worked.View Posts by Hope Nesteruk
Matt appreciates all the moments with his family, lives in the now, and is eternally thankful for his beautiful wife, Rebecca, and three healthy children. His doctors did such a good job that Matt has no scar. But Matt didn’t want to forget that he had cancer and all that he’s learned through that experience. Matt’s lion tattoo reminds him of his journey, the power of perseverance, and the importance of staying positive. Cancer patients often symbolize the conclusion of treatment by ringing a bell on their last day of chemotherapy. Not everyone gets the opportunity to make it through and celebrate. On his last day of chemo, Matt rang the bell and hasn’t taken a day for granted since. As a lifelong warrior and workout fanatic, Matt never stops. Not for cancer. Not for chemo. Not for anything. Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another. One of Matt’s favorite things is signing his books, often writing personal messages to others, and hearing inspiring stories about the battles that others are fighting. As he always says, “we are a family of Warriors.”View Posts by Matthew S. Newman
My name is Danielle Nicosia. August 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Metastatic Thyroid Cancer. After being misdiagnosed for several years, I had a complete thyroid removal (total thyroidectomy), as well as a many lymph nodes that were cancerous.
You can follow Danielle on Twitter or Instagram: @ThyCaSurvivor09
Danielle’s blog: https://findinghopewiththyroidcancer.com
Sara Olsher is the Founder of Mighty + Bright. Sara Olsher, mom to a little girl with a big personality, wearer of cowboy boots, and drinker of exceptionally strong coffee. In 2012, she packed up her 18 month old and left her marriage. What followed was about four years of intense personal growth and the birth of Mighty + Bright.
Then in 2017, Sara was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at the age of 34. Rather than choosing to keep her daughter in the dark, Sara explained the diagnosis and treatment process to her six year-old, included her throughout the year of healing, and documented her journey through cancer on her blog.
She started Mighty + Bright for the same reason many parents start companies: because she wanted to help her own daughter and invented a product to do it. But since then, it’s become so much more. Sara has seen firsthand that the universe can deal some pretty harsh blows. As parents, we want nothing more than to see our children thrive – and nothing is more painful than knowing that we can’t fix everything when things go wrong.View Posts by Sara Olsher
Lisa is a Stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor (diagnosed in January 2019). She is a proud wife and mother of two boys, ages 6 and 3, and lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Lisa is a former elementary school teacher who now tutors part time and works as Quality Assurance and Packaging for Cottontail Bow & Co. She is a member of the Patient Advisory Committee for Elephants and Tea. In her free time she loves to write, loves cooking and baking, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.View Posts by Lisa Orr
Paola Palmieri is 40-year old mother of two young boys (five and eight years old) who was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer at the age of 37. Paola lives in Miami Beach with her family. She works in education as an academic program manager for a language school. She has also been teaching languages for over ten years and is very passionate about learning, writing, and traveling. She loves yoga, salsa dancing, the beach, and nature in general. Paola has adopted a plant based diet and holistic approach to her healing in her cancer journey that along with her conventional treatment has greatly helped her cope and thrive with this disease.View Posts by Paola Palmieri
Beth “Vi” Peck shows her “vivacious” personality as well as her extensive background in non-profit management and leadership in everything she does. She has experienced the transformational work Project Koru provides to young adult cancer survivors firsthand, because she is one. Beth attended Camp Koru in the Fall of 2016 after a battle with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer, and attributes the woman, mother, and professional she is today to her Project Koru experience. Beth brings a diverse skill set collected over a 15-year career in nonprofit work and all levels of fundraising, as well as a deep level of love and respect from the entire Project Koru community.
Beth’s home base is East Lansing, Michigan where she raises her three (equally!) vivacious kids with her partner Ben. She is a book junkie, water baby, and her wanderlust has brought her all over the world. Reach out and say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org.View Posts by Beth Peck
My name is Angeliki and I am 23 years old. I am now three years cancer-free after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 19, in my third year of college. I left school to undergo chemotherapy and radiation, but later returned and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am currently working as an emergency department medical scribe as I complete my last prerequisite courses to apply to nursing school!View Posts by Angeliki Pelehrinis
Diagnosed with Her2+ Invasive Breast Cancer at 30 years old. Currently still undergoing active treatment. Elementary special education teacher, wife, daughter, and momma to two puppies and one fat, orange cat.View Posts by Ashley Pentecost
Cat Phillips is a wellness coach and 10 year cancer thriver on a mission to help fellow thrivers through an empowering journey of self-discovery. Through her own cancer experience, she struggled with confidence and self-worth after many mutilating surgeries. This led to a spiritual awakening and powerful realization that she is so much more than her body. She went through a life-changing transformation, shifting her identity from body to soul. From this realization Sexy Soul Search was born. This is a transformational process which teaches cancer thrivers to fully accept and honor themselves as they truly are, by discovering that they are so much more than their body and that their true sexiness radiates from their soul.
@sexysoulsearchView Posts by Cat Phillips
In 2008, I was diagnosed with brain cancer. Ever since my cancer diagnosis, I have been trying to turn negatives into positives. Now on the other side of treatment and being labeled as a survivor, I am exploring yoga and healthy living ideals to heal my body and mind. I was struck by how much yoga has improved my life and want to bring that idea to others. Thank you for visiting my page! https://thecanceryogi.com/View Posts by Lauren Pickhart
My name is Juanita, I am a young adult and a proud two-time Childhood Cancer Survivor! What do I love??? I love sharing my inspirational story with the world, I love to smile, I love to talk, I love my family and friends, I love to laugh, I love to make others laugh, I love that I speak Spanish and English fluently, I love being an Aquarius, I love to Latin dance, I love building meaningful relationships, I love to turn any negative into a positive, I love to learn new things, I love to challenge myself , I love reading about human development, I love interacting with people of all ages, I love to motivate myself and others, I love to run, I love culture and diversity, I love good coffee, I love God and all the miracles and blessings brought upon my life, I love that at a young age I learned to truly understand one’s value of life, to LOVE LIFE—- Sweet. Delicate. Precious. Life.View Posts by Juanita Prada
Jen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, 17 year cancer survivor and mother through gestational surrogacy. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from New York University and has 20 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents and their families. A New York City native, she works to now support intended parents who are pursuing a surrogacy journey.View Posts by Jen Rachman
Charlie Razook lives in New York City with his dog Margot. He is represented by InkWell Management. He is the founder of Jackfir, a men’s skincare and lifestyle company.View Posts by Charlie Razook
My name is Beth Reed and I am 38 years old living in Brooklyn with my husband and dog named Hudson. I had stage 4c Hodgkins and currently 22 years off treatment. To celebrate my 20th anniversary off treatment, I ran my first half marathon, the NYC Half) and raised money for Stupid Cancer and then ran 3 more and now training for my 5th half.View Posts by Beth Reed
Benjamin is the author of the Cancer-Slaying Super Man books. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program.View Posts by Benjamin Rubenstein
Life as a 20-year-old bald Leukemia patient is never something we imagine in our wildest dreams growing up. Not knowing anyone else similar in age who can share how they coped with such fear and uncertainty was only the beginning of Stephanie Scoletti’s concerns. Little did she know that this disease would blossom into a mission that Pittsburgh, PA has never seen. Check out YASU for more information: https://www.yasurvivors.org/View Posts by Stephanie Scoletti
My name is Aly Senko, I originally hail from New Hampshire, but now live in Washington DC as a 2020 graduate of The Catholic University of America, where I studied History, Politics, and European Studies. I love my school have enjoyed getting involved in the academic world and participating in all types of student leadership, especially Orientation and Peer mentorship. I am a traveler and adventurer at heart, and in the future hope to spend a year of service in South America followed by a graduate degree in Europe. I also love swimming, yoga, Irish dancing, photography, baking, and taking care of my plants. I was diagnosed with a Ewings sarcoma last January and went through chemo, radiation, and surgery at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and finished treatment October 2019.View Posts by Aly Senko
Ashley Severson was born in Southern California and graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She spent a term serving with AmeriCorps NCCC, where she traveled to states across the southwest, serving with Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Hurricane Relief agencies, and other nonprofits. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma in April of 2021. Her goals for the future include helping others and becoming an advocate for other cancer survivors.View Posts by Ashley Severson
Ruzette Solis is an Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia survivor and not half bad most of the time.View Posts by Ruzette Solis
In September of 2018, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 24. I quickly found myself unable to cope and accept my illness. I wanted to know more about what other young adults experienced. So I did what I always do when I don’t understand something: research.View Posts by Hannah Starkey
When I was 28 years old and my first son was 10 months old, I was finally told what had been causing horrible symptoms and a full body rash for over a year but no one could diagnose: it was lymphoma. Cancer. Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, which is an incredibly rare type that mostly occurs in elderly patients. I was a young mom with her whole life ahead of her. I had to stop working as a retail pharmacist and undergo 6 months of really difficult chemo treatment and what felt like endless hospital stays.
I was in remission for 3 years and lucky enough to have another baby. When he was 7 months old, I found a rash on my arm. I called my cancer center and they sent me in for a scan and a skin biopsy. The lymphoma was back. This time we knew that we needed a bone marrow transplant. Out of my three siblings, our best option was my brother who was a 6/10 match. I received a phone call that I had no match on the bone marrow registry and I felt like my world started to fall apart. We went ahead with an autologous bone marrow transplant with my own stem cells, knowing it probably wouldn’t be curative but would buy us some time to weigh our options. About 5 months later the lymphoma reared its ugly head again. I went to my appointment ready to discuss options and make some hard choices. Instead, they told me that they ran me again and I had a 10/10 match in Germany, and he was willing to donate. I cried happy tears! (And so did a lot of my friends and family!)
In March 2019 I had a bone marrow transplant with my donor’s cells. It was the hardest year of my life, but I have no doubt that without my amazing donor and my treatment team, I would not be here today, raising my family and hugging my boys. I have had countless chemotherapy treatments, radiation sessions, injections, blood draws, bone marrow biopsies, blood transfusions, and holidays spent in the hospital. I have been completely overwhelmed and amazed at my support system and how they have cared for me and my family. I have been able to contact my donor Sebastian and we have been getting to know each other across the world. Cancer has changed me forever, and I am grateful for every second in this new life that I have been given.View Posts by Amy Steeves
Cindy Stemple is an Assistant Vice President in the financial services industry and an amateur musician who is a two-time survivor of head and neck cancer. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she currently serves as a non-scientist member on the Institutional Review Board for Cancer Research at OSUCCC-The James and as an ambassador for the Head & Neck Cancer Alliance in addition to volunteering for other cancer-related causes. She and her husband Michael live in Westerville, Ohio along with their fur-baby, a golden doodle named Cooper.View Posts by Cindy Stemple
When 27-year-old Kristen Stewart was rushed to the ER with horrific dizziness and nausea, she never imagined how her young life was about to change. In My Brainstorm, Stewart shares the harrowing, heartwarming, and often hilarious story of her emergency brain surgery, rehab, egg freezing, radiation and chemo. You’ll laugh and learn with Kristen as she navigates overcoming brain cancer.
Kristen’s Memoir Book My Brainstorm.View Posts by Kristen Stewart
I am a Mom of three, special education teacher, loving wife of my high school sweetheart who has stage iv ocular melanoma, I walk the cancer journey as a caregiver!View Posts by Caitlyn Stewart
My name is Joanna. I’m a Los Angeles-based wife and mother, a college professor, a chef and baker, a skincare formulator, a gardener, a survivor and thriver. Following a colorectal cancer diagnosis five years ago, I did what I knew best: research. I devoted all my time to studying how I can improve my chances at survival and recovery, and how to transform my lifestyle into one that would lead to optimal health and wellness. I discovered that I had to implement multiple strategies to optimize my diet, detoxify my skincare, and clean up my environment. Now it is time to utilize my second best skill: teaching. I want to share what I’ve learned, how I changed my old habits and how I improved my lifestyle the best way I knew. Sharing this knowledge is what this blog is all about – check it out here: https://www.oko-logic.com/View Posts by Joanna K. Stimmel
I am a Master’s candidate in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. As an undergraduate at Boston University, embarking on my first serious endeavor to connect to my heritage, I studied at Shanghai’s Fudan University, as well as explored the multifaceted Chinese megacity through an editorial internship at Shanghai Expat. After graduating in 2015, I moved to Guangzhou, where I worked as an English news editor, host, and producer for Guangdong Television. Once I decided to return to academic life to get further involved in the various aspects of U.S.-Asia relations, I took the opportunity with the remaining time to travel across Europe and Asia, including spending summer 2017 studying intensive Chinese at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. After my first remission, I spent several months in Taiwan on a Boren Fellowship. I live in Virginia, but Maryland will always be my home.View Posts by Sonia Su
Pat Taylor became an AYA cancer awareness advocate when her daughter, Sara, age 23, was diagnosed with cancer back in 1997. Addressing the lack of support resources for young adults and their caregivers, Pat and Sara produced and distributed two films, “Sara’s Story” and “Chasing Rainbows Young Adults Living With Cancer”, and,View Posts by Pat Taylor
Alique Topalian PhD, MPH was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in 1998 at the age of 4 years old. She went into remission with the use of experimental chemotherapy overcoming her side effects as she grew older. Alique went on to complete her Master of Public Health and then her PhD in Health Promotion and Education with a research focus on mental and behavioral health and psychosocial support services. Exactly one year after her dissertation defense Alique was diagnosed, again, with AML. The first person to relapse after 22 years in remission. She is currently in remission and hopes to use her education, research background,
and lived experience to support and improve the experience of other AYAs just like her.
Hey, I’m Kayla! A 20-something 2x blood cancer survivor living in Mississauga, Ontario. In 2014 I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A year later I relapsed and was diagnosed with Grey Zone Lymphoma. As a survivor, or better yet a thriver, I work towards living a holistic lifestyle, including investing in healing myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Outside of the workweek, you can find me practicing yoga, exploring the outdoors, or reading a book with my fourth cup of tea. I want you to know that there is life after this disease and you are worth fighting for. Your life isn’t over because of cancer; cancer doesn’t define you.View Posts by Kayla Tremblett
Kayla received a BS degree in Psychology and a MS degree in Human Development and Family Science. She is married to Nathan, an active duty Marine, who has been battling Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Nathan, Kayla, and their toddler have lived in SC, NC, and TX while Nathan has faced chemotherapy, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. Kayla balances raising a family, being Nathan’s caregiver, and working while also recognizing the importance of self-care.View Posts by Kayla VanBuskirk
Sarah Wangari is a full-time freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Writing is not only her profession but also her way of grieving and healing. Sarah’s writing voice is raw with a hint of dark humor. Leveraging her experience with SEO to write creative and engaging content.
When she’s not writing, she’s most likely reading historical romances, swimming, or doodling.View Posts by Sarah Wangari
Mike Wark is a young adult cancer survivor from Red Deer, Alberta. In 2018 he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and following 7 months of treatment, including a stem-cell transplant from a genetically matched anonymous donor, was pronounced in full remission. He co-leads the regional support group “Young Adult Cancer Central Alberta” (YACCA), and is passionate about connecting with fellow young adult survivors.View Posts by Mike Wark
Abby spent 34 years as an engineer for the Navy before retiring in 2018 to run b-present full time. Pursuing her Nonprofit Management Certificate at USD, Abby is a Mom on a Mission. With Kirsten as her inspiration, she is committed to improving the support for young adults with cancer. Abby lives in San Diego with her husband John, and they have a son Andrew (Kirsten’s big bro and Abby’s advisor on computers, music, and life).View Posts by Abby Westerman
My name is Keaton Williams and I am a cancer survivor.
I was 19 years old, newly out of high school and thriving through college life. I was working at Disneyland, going out with friends, dating; everything was perfect. I was as happy as I thought I could be. Life seemed almost perfect. I had a plan. I had a goal. I had a roadmap. Everything was set in stone…until it wasn’t.View Posts by Keaton Williams
Hi I’m Andrew! I’m a brain tumor survivor with quite an adventurous life. I have lived in 5 countries growing up, been a musician for the past 22 years, a fitness instructor, music teacher, runway/fitness/commercial model, actor and worked in pharmaceuticals. I am now working to grow a company with the goal of helping people who are experiencing the hardships of health issues due to brain surgery and recovery. I have discovered how difficult it is to navigate through the incredibly rough road of brain recovery due to lack of support, resources and knowledge in certain areas. I am bridging the gap to help those make better decisions in their recovery and provide insight and connection from personal experience that was not shared with me in my recovery. Healing requires not just physical rehab and speech therapy but proper nutrition, exercise and proper mindset to get you moving forward.View Posts by Andrew Williams
My name is Alyssa and I was diagnosed BRCA 1 triple negative stage two at 26 years old. My diagnosis came March 29th 2019. The same week my boyfriend and I closed on our house, two weeks before my birthday and in the midst of grad school. I received my phone call while driving to my new house, boxes loaded in the back. There is no preparation for a phone call like that. I was angry and confused, but mostly angry. After all, my doctors told me I had nothing to worry about being I am young. My family and I had no time to fully digest what was happening. Our thoughts were driven toward doctors, biopsies, research and mammograms. BRCA? Triple negative? These were words we’ve never heard of. At the time we thought there was no trace of breast cancer within my family. We pulled out the family tree and started crossing out “potentials” one by one. Finally, my dads cousin ( whom he’s only met once or twice) was diagnosed with BRCA 1 years ago. My gene “mutation” was no longer a mystery.View Posts by Alyssa Wilson
Lynda was diagnosed with stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) in August 2016. She was told the average life expectancy was 5 years with a 20 month average “remission” time if remission could be reached.
After commuting 3,600 miles round trip from Boise, Idaho to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for eight months, followed by four months of R Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy (which was in-patient), Lynda’s cancer is currently “dormant” (She chooses to use the word dormant as “remission” often gets confused with “cure”).
She continues her daytime job in a law firm while writing on her lunch hour, after work and on the weekends.View Posts by Lynda Wolters