At the age of 38, Desirée was diagnosed with breast cancer, which recurred at age 47. For many who have had to fight breast cancer, she functions as an advocate for patients by openly speaking about her diagnosis to audiences nationally. The core of her message is to encourage patients to truly know their body and feel empowered to steward self, mind, body and soul. Her diagnosis has created many opportunities to share her talents and aid diverse communities. It has provided her with a platform to be a voice for the voiceless through advocacy and give back by educating and empowering people internationally. Most importantly, she makes time to “smell the roses,” enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking gourmet bread pudding, traveling, attending concerts, cultural programs and sporting events.
She acts as a lobbyist, is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and a graduate of Project LEAD. As a patient advocate, she’s attended: ASCO’s Breast Cancer Symposium, the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation’s Advocacy Program at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), American Association for Cancer Research's Scientist-Survivor Program (AACR S-SP) at their Annual Mtg. and Rally and the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, the European School of Oncology’s (ESO) Advanced Breast Cancer 2 (ABC2), Breast Cancer in Young Women (BCY2) and Advanced Breast Cancer 3 (ABC3) Conferences, American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Annual Mtg. (ASCO), Society of Integrative Oncology’s Conference (SIO) and Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP). Desirée is a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (DoD CDMRP) and a patient reviewer for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She serves on Young Survival Coalition’s (YSC) Board of Directors and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women (ACBCYW).