Posted on Nov 19
“Survivors are TRUE fighters” Survivor: Jeri F.
By: New Balance
Years as a survivor 10 years.
Jeri’s Story I lost my best friend to inflammatory breast cancer in 2004. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 8, 2003. I went through surgery and treatment, and realized how not much information is given to women who do not live close to a breast cancer center; and the information and treatment they do receive may not be as current as you receive at a center.
I felt, with my medical background as a physician's assistant, that I could change things in my area and help other women in their journey. I became a research and public policy advocate. I also help navigate women through the system when they have nowhere else to turn, finding them financial assistant for treatment, living expenses, whatever they might need. I led the development of an alliance as Komen's public policy chair, to have legislation passed for the Anti-Cancer Medication Parity Bill this past legislative session here in Florida.
There may never be a single cure for breast cancer. Instead, there maybe several cures since breast cancer is so complicated.
As I tell many women, it is a horrible initiation into a phenomenal sisterhood. Breast cancer survivors are TRUE fighters.
How are you involved in the fight throughout the year? I am board president for the central Florida affiliate of Susan G. Komen. I serve on many research committees that are looking at ways to end breast cancer, improve treatment and improve the quality of life of the women (and men) who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
If a breast cancer patient in Florida is in need of education, financial assistance, screening, diagnosis, information on making an informed decision on treatment, clinical trials, or whatever question they may have, I usually get the call. I don't have all of the answers, but I have a large network of people from basic scientists, physicians to survivors who I can reach out to. Breast cancer changed my life, but it changed it for the better and I am driven to help those going through the journey as so many were there to help me.