Six years ago I was a 33-year-old woman living in New York City with great friends and an active social life, a successful career in public relations, two marathons under my belt and a gym membership tattered from over-use. All was well in my world. Then I received my breast cancer diagnosis and everything changed. My life was consumed with fighting breast cancer: five surgeries, chemotherapy, shedding my long hair and a lot of tears.

A light of hope

"When I received my breast cancer diagnosis and everything changed. My life was consumed with fighting breast cancer: five surgeries, chemotherapy, shedding my long hair and a lot of tears."

When I successfully landed on the other side of this disease, I wanted to take the personal trauma of battling breast cancer and put it to good use daily and show others that there is hope after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Now, as the program director for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, I am so proud that the money raised at our events—more than $50 million annually—helps people get the breast cancer screening and treatment they need, regardless of their ability to pay for it! I was so fortunate to have good health insurance and access to great doctors, but not everyone is so lucky.

To know that the work we do every day could ultimately help turn someone's diagnosis into a story of survival is incredible. And to know that we are funding research into new treatments, prevention, and ultimately a cure is not only amazing for those it will help, but selfishly I am hopeful that this research will keep me from ever having to go through breast cancer again.