Yolanda was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Carlow University. For several years, Yolanda has worked for a healthcare company and until 2016 was living a normal simple life. At the age of 36, Yolanda was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) of the left breast. She had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As a young African American woman, she thought this could never happen to her and more frightening was the inability to find the necessary resources to help her navigate her now “new normal”.
While she is thankful for the organizations that did help her fight for life, she is passionate about advocating and providing resources for young women suffering with breast cancer. Because of this passion to advocate and educate, Yolanda created “This Exceptional Journey” (TEJ Media) – a blog, podcast and YouTube channel, which aim to give inspiration, empowerment and ignition to live you best life. She understands how important it is for women to know being “too young to get cancer” is a myth.
Yolanda serves as a Pennsylvania State Leader for Young Survivor Coalition (YSC), the Young Adult Cancer Survivor (YACS) Advisory Board member for Lacuna Loft, a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD science and research advocacy course, a Young Advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and an active member of Young Adult Cancer Support group (YACS) of Pittsburgh. She has shared her story with a variety of audiences and organizations which include being featured in the Soul Pitt Magazine, the Anthropologie Fall Fashion Show benefitting LBBC, and the keynote speaker at the Young Survival Coalition 2018 Symposium. Yolanda’s mission is to ensure every young adult diagnosed with breast cancer knows they are not alone.