34 years old
After Ashley found a lump in her breast 2 years ago, follow-up was delayed more than a year. She said her doctor “dismissed her because she said I was too young to worry about breast cancer.” In January of this year, Ashley went back to her doctor. By then, the cancer had spread, and she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. While she was angry about what happened, she’s been able to move forward to deal with what’s ahead. “It has its days where it affects me, but I don’t let it get me down too much. I just live.” Ashley is living her life fearLESSly. To her, “FearLESS means waking up knowing that you have metastatic breast cancer but metastatic breast cancer does not have you.”
Learn more about Ashley's story here.
40 years old
For this Hispanic Heritage Month, meet Myandra, age 40, who lives in a small Caribbean country with her 2 young children. Having experienced a lack of both awareness of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and a support network, she would like to help change the situation for her community. Myandra has found it difficult to deal with not only the pain caused by MBC, but also the way it limits her ability to live her life independently. Needing help—and bringing herself to ask for it—has been challenging for her. “After working for 21 years and being a single mom for a very long time, at a certain point I couldn’t work anymore because of the pains. And it makes it difficult when you have to depend on people to do things for you. Because you want to feel empowered just doing things yourself.” Facing the future, Myandra says, “When I think about my kids, they are what I’m currently living for. I just want to see them grow up. To me, that’s the most important thing.”
Learn more about Myandra's story here.
35 years old
Fua, originally from American Samoa, is a 35-year-old who lives in California with her husband and daughter. Family is a vital part of who she is and what makes her happy, and her main support in times of need. The prospect of not being able to have her own large family, as she and her husband had planned, has been heartbreaking. She felt like she was just getting started with life when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) a year ago, at age 34. Fua’s community is important to her, and she believes that sharing a cultural connection can help people living with MBC. "I don’t see too many women like me on a platform that’s out there nationwide for people to see." She welcomes the chance to tell her story and potentially reach someone who might otherwise be feeling alone.
Learn more about Fua's story here.
56 years old
Lesley is a 56-year-old who is originally from Hawaii, but currently lives in southern Oregon. She has 3 grown children and loves animals, being active outdoors, and creating art in her studio. After her diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), Lesley reflected on what she truly wants from life and set out to achieve it. While the first year after being diagnosed with MBC was rough, she continues to move forward. “I don’t live in my disease. I live with my disease. And that’s very important to me. And I want to share that with people. It doesn’t need to consume your life.” Lesley’s commitment to advocacy led her to found PROJECT LIFE, a virtual wellness house for people living with MBC. “We’re really building a community for people to feel that they belong. That this is a place for them, that they can just be themselves.”
Learn more about Lesley here.
49 years old
Jen is a 49-year-old who lives with her family. She loves nature, outdoor sports, travel, and live music. Jen faced some difficult challenges and setbacks relating to treatment and surgery for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). But she’s found a way to accept what happened and to focus on living her life. Jen’s faith, her family, and being active help her through challenging times. “My one message that I would share is the life model that cancer gave me, and that’s living life in color, because life’s too short to be stuck in a gray moment. It’s all about learning to enjoy the moments, live the life, have the good time, make the memories.”
Learn more about Jen here.
50 years old
Michelle is a 50-year-old who is devoted to her children and grandchildren. She loves music, dance, car racing, and adventure. Michelle was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) de novo; she’d had no prior diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer and didn’t know what MBC was. She had just changed jobs and was without insurance when the diagnosis was made—and her world was turned upside down. Because of those experiences, she wants to share her story to encourage and advocate for others facing similar situations, as well as educate the wider community about MBC. “FearLESS to me is finding the joy in the darkness. Being that shining light and showing others in our situation that it is scary and it’s a dark world, but we can make it brighter. We can thrive, and we can do this together.”
Learn more about Michelle here.
43 years old
Robin is a 43-year-old who has worked with children with special needs and children in foster care, and lives with her son. She loves the ocean and enjoys interior design and fashion. Robin’s empathetic and giving nature enables her to support and encourage others, but since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), she’s taking more time to focus on her own needs as well — at a point in her life when she was ready to make a fresh start. The diagnosis came as a shock and was devastating. But, determined to get back up, Robin has found the strength to take time for herself and achieve some of her life goals. “The things that keep me going are just my resilience. I’ve never given up. So I’m like, I can make it through this.”
Learn more about Robin here.
50 years old
Sheila is a 50-year-old from Puerto Rico who works as a project manager and is devoted to her husband and two grown children. She loves reading, spending time with friends, being outdoors, and volunteering her time and talents to give back to others. Having been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), Sheila had to learn a lot and now wants to help educate the wider community about MBC and what it means for those who are living with it. When she was first diagnosed, Sheila hadn’t yet sought out other people with MBC. But once she did, she found that it made a real difference to her well-being to be able to share experiences with others who truly understand and to talk about difficult topics openly and honestly. “It’s just a great community to have.”
Learn more about Sheila here.
56 years old
Earlene is a cheerful 56-year-old who loves singing, meeting people, traveling, and gaining new experiences. Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), she is as determined as ever to relish life and all the joy it can bring, and to help others do the same. For Earlene, moving forward and living fearLESS with MBC was a simple decision. While acknowledging that there are hard times, she focuses on the joys and the blessings that she finds in life each day. "I’ll take every day one day at a time and live it to the fullest."
Learn more about Earlene here.
57 years old
Caroline is a former oncology nurse who lives in Philadelphia with her family. Unfortunately, because of the impact metastatic breast cancer (MBC) has had on her health, Caroline had to give up her career in nursing that she loved. But her compassion carries over into caring for others in her community and using her voice to advocate for people living with MBC. "What brings me the most joy is helping other people. So I'm hoping that this project can be helpful to other people."
Learn more about Caroline here.