Katie Parker’s Story: Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 36 and Using the Experience to Educate Young Women

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On May 23, 2010, Katie’s life was forever changed by a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer. At only 36 years of age, she had no family history, no palpable abnormalities, and a mistaken belief that you had to have a family history of breast cancer to get a diagnosis. It was the shock of her life.

Luckily for Katie, she had gotten that baseline mammogram through her employer at the time, mainly on a whim because it was free.

When that whim turned into a positive diagnosis, Katie “knew that an important part of [her] life’s journey would be to not only educate others on the importance of early detection and breast health, but to support others in their journeys as well.”

image007Since her diagnosis 7 years ago, Katie has worked hard in her three important roles:

(1) Partnering with Young Survival Coalition (YSC) to facilitate a support group for young breast cancer survivors, as well as support other survivors around the country with resources and advice;

(2) Working as an Education Ambassador for Bright Pink, to spread important, potentially life-saving information from a medical advisory board about breast and ovarian health, in addition to her own personal story;

(3) Serving as a Young Advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) to help others know they are not alone in their journey.

“Breast cancer opened up a whole new world of wonderful people and experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for it. You can let things make you bitter or better. I chose to let cancer make me better.”

See Katie tell her story for Pink Together here:



The 2017 Patients’ View Impact Awards are only one week away! There are more inspiring stories to come, so please check back with us again.

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