Heather LaBruna

Heather LaBruna

 

Meet Heather

Heather had been a health writer covering topics such as breast cancer for more than a decade when she learned of her own diagnosis in 2013. It wasn’t a surprise—she was the fourth known women on her father’s side of the family to be diagnosed, though at age 36, she was by far the youngest. Faced with bilateral breast cancer and a BRCA2-positive status, Heather set out to learn all she could about her reconstruction options, what treatment would entail for her early stage breast cancer, what having a genetic mutation meant exactly, and how all of this might impact her young family. She used her writing background to her advantage, chronicling her experience through the DIEP breast reconstruction process, chemotherapy, and survivorship via her blog, BreakingBreastCancer.blogspot.com, with the goal of helping women see what to expect on their own journey. Around this time, she also became the unofficial go-to person in her community for young women who were diagnosed (“Hey, I know this woman you should talk to…”). That’s when she realized: There were many women like her out there. With cancer always at the back of her mind, she decided to take her activism a step further, becoming a state leader for Young Survival Coalition and fundraising for the organization through Tour de Pink. Heather’s excited to go even further with YSC’s RISE program and once again use her writing background and scientific research and analysis skills to help young women diagnosed with breast cancer fight for research funding—and a cure.

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