26,393 young adults will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 3,000 will die of the disease in that time. They will face unique issues like infertility and higher mortality rates. Help us support, educate and empower them!
My name is Jamie and I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. I not only believe in Young Survival Coalition (YSC), I am proof of the need for their programs. When I was 20, my sister Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 32 and mom to a one year old. Even though we have a supportive family, she needed to meet other young women who understood her challenges. With her YSC family she could be open and honest without worrying about upsetting her loved ones. 10 months after chemo ended we received the horrific news that Tracy's cancer had spread. She now had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Years later I learned I was BRCA1+ and had an 85% chance of developing breast cancer! Because of my connection to YSC, I knew that I had someplace to turn for help. I decided to have a mastectomy to reduce my risk of developing cancer. At the same time, Tracy was admitted to the hospital. While I prepared for surgery, I was given the shocking news that I already had breast cancer! Though I had already decided to have a mastectomy, I hadn't planned on having chemotherapy that could destroy my fertility. A few weeks later, Tracy died. She was 41. The morning of her wake, during an intense 20 minute procedure I had eggs harvested, a fertility option introduced to me by YSC. That afternoon, I delivered Tracy's eulogy. The road back from the death of my sister and my diagnosis has been hard. But I consider myself very lucky. YSC has been with me through my darkest moments and during my brightest, when I welcomed my twin girls Tessa and Grace into the world. I call them my YSC miracle babies. It was YSC's gift of information and support that gave me the gift of motherhood.