Triumphant Thriver: Empowering Others Through Breast Cancer Advocacy

After overcoming stage 3 breast cancer, 11-year survivor Jess Whorton became a healthcare and survivorship advocate.

I am an 11-year breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 33 with stage 3A invasive ductal carcinoma. My journey began with a life-threatening allergy to chemotherapy, a MRSA infection, and a pulmonary embolism that left me convalescent for several years.

Despite this setback, I found strength in the unwavering support of my partner, Jake, who stood by my side throughout my treatment. After overcoming my health challenges, I returned to work as the director of business development for a small graphic design firm.

My experience as a survivor inspired me to join the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s (NCCS) Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team (CPAT), where I learned about pressing policy issues affecting cancer care and became an advocate for improving the quality of care for everyone touched by cancer. Recently, I traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for cancer survivor rights and healthcare reform as part of my advocacy work with CPAT. My dedication to this cause has allowed me to connect with other survivors and caregivers, empowering them with the tools and training to apply their experiences to advocate effectively.

As a proud mama of two beautiful daughters, I have not only been a role model for resilience and determination but also a beacon of hope for others facing similar challenges. My story is one of survival, courage, and inspiration, and my dedication to empowering others through breast cancer advocacy is a testament to my strength and resilience.

Brené Brown, a renowned author and researcher, once said, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our own light.” This quote resonates with me deeply, as it encapsulates my journey through the darkness of cancer and into the light of advocacy and survivorship.

My experience has taught me the importance of embracing vulnerability and using it as a source of strength to help others navigate their own challenges. As I continue to advocate for cancer survivors and work towards healthcare reform, I am grateful for the support of my partner, Jake, and the love of my two daughters. They have been my rock throughout this journey, and their unwavering support has given me the strength to persevere and make a difference in the lives of others affected by cancer.

Whether you are a patient, survivor, caregiver or loved one touched by cancer, your story can have an enormous impact. You can provide hope and inspiration to someone recently diagnosed with cancer or a patient undergoing therapy.

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