Tara is honored and thrilled to serve as a RISE Advocate. Tara is a triple negative breast cancer survivor diagnosed at age 34. She went on to discover she was a BRCA 1 gene mutation carrier. Tara became involved with her local YSC community immediately after her diagnosis allowing her to meet a number of other young women in similar life circumstances. With an innate desire to help others, a healthcare background and a love of research she soon found herself receiving calls from women in her local community and soon all over the country. These women wanted help with their own or a loved one’s new breast cancer diagnosis. Tara provided them with information on national breast cancer organizations, community resources, breast cancer specialists in their own communities and provided them with the questions they needed to find the answers they deserved. Tara broadened her breast cancer advocacy over the years to include: Scientific Advisory Board for Phoenix Molecular, National Breast Cancer Coalition Project Lead Graduate; Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium scholar; Institutional Review Boards for UCSD Medical Center and the La Jolla VA; Advocate for Athena Breast Health Network at UCSD; Board Member and contributing member of YSC San Diego; supporter and bulletin board contributor to Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE); and Ambassador and educator for Breast Cancer Network of Strength.
Tara is now a lymphedema therapist, combining her breast cancer advocacy work and her career as an occupational therapist to continue to help people affected by breast cancer. She provides community in-services to educate women about their lymphedema risk and knowledge of treatment options. She continues to do advocacy work in her local community. She hopes to help increase awareness of breast cancer among young women and to advocate on behalf of other young survivors.