I am a busy woman, wife, mother, friend, dog mom, podcast host, advocate, speaker and writer. I am also a 2-time, 10-year survivor of breast cancer, which surprisingly changed my life for the better. When I turned 50, I adopted the mantra “I am grateful for this body, this breath and this life.” This simple phrase helps me navigate the hard parts of each day. I am a Leo, which means I love being the center of all fun, but I’m also an Enneagram 2, “The Helper.” These two characteristics make for an interesting combination!
Organization and details are my jam. Everything has its place and rules are meant to be followed, or so I thought. My career began as a paralegal, then I transitioned to a C-Level Executive Assistant for entrepreneurs and start-ups. After working in those environments, I knew that I could handle anything. Then I became a stay-at-home mom and dealt with cancer. Twice. All that stuff that I thought I knew, along with those pesky rules, went out of the window!
In 2017, I began volunteering at Breast Friends of Oregon, and in the process found support and encouragement from women who understood exactly what it is like to hear the words “you have cancer.” A little over a year later I was hired as the Patient Programs Assistant where I made myself indispensable. The opportunity arose to take over as the host of the Breast Friends Cancer Support Network podcast in 2021 and that is where I found my voice. I launched my own podcast in January, 2023: We Rise By Lifting Each Other. My goal is to highlight good people, doing good works and share it with the world!
I am a fierce breast cancer advocate and passionate about helping others. My upcoming book: I Never Liked Pink and Other Things I Learned From Cancer is a guide for facing trauma and healing through adversity. One of my happy places is on stage, connecting with audiences, discussing survivorship and giving hope on how to move forward in the face of life’s trials. I have learned that by helping others, we all rise together.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.
I recently joined the National Parent Committee for Kesem, which is an amazing organization which provides free, fun support for kids whose parents have been affected by cancer. My son first attended Camp Kesem (sleep away summer camp for a week!) when he was 7 and it is always the highlight of each summer. It is my privilege to work with other parents to share about the magic of Kesem and help to expand the program.
Through Breast Friends, I have also become a Certified “Lemonista” – a volunteer Breast Health Educator with the Know Your Lemons Foundation, working to save lives from breast cancer through creative and empowering education. Get the app to learn more!
The phoenix represents rising from the ashes, something I relate to at this stage of my life. I understand now, through my adversity, that we can only rise by lifting each other.
Exploring the Pacific Northwest, or really anywhere, with my husband Nate, our son Jackson and 2 bonkers dogs fills my soul. Nate came with 4 kids, and now all are grown. Our family is large and messy; I would not have it any other way. Whenever possible, you can find me reading one of the many unfinished books around the house, falling asleep during good movies, binging podcasts or spending time with my friends.
I began documenting my journey with breast cancer in 2012 mainly to keep my friends and family updated; it was exhausting telling the details over and over. A private Facebook group was born and filled with the nitty gritty details of breast cancer treatment. As time went on, it morphed into my random musings on cancer and life.
Fast forward to early 2017 and I was diagnosed AGAIN (I mean, really?) with a new primary occurrence in my other breast. I think that breast felt left out (humor helps a lot when dealing with cancer!). Later that year I realized that sharing the trauma, through my writing, enabled me to begin to heal. I created my blog I Never Liked Pink and became an oversharer. Sharing the good, the bad and the “What the F??”
You can find all of my prior social media @ineverlikedpink. Information about my book will also be shared here, so please follow!
If you know me at all, you know that I love P!nk! She is strong, outspoken and keeps it real. This song came out originally in 2015 for a film about the suffragette movement. I claimed it as my cancer anthem. MY wild heart can’t be broken.
As I move into the next chapter in my life, I want to share my journey of healing through adversity and to help others. Each individual’s experience with trauma is different, but we can all be on the same path to move forward, bringing others along and rising. As P!nk says, there is not enough tape to shut my mouth.