Three years... giving back.

Three years ago, on September 8, 2010 I received the shocking diagnosis that I had breast cancer. I was in great shape, healthy, ate well, didn't smoke and had no family history whatsoever. I was also only 34- well, I was diagnosed one day before my 35th birthday.

After months of surgery, chemo, more surgery, radiation and a myriad of other procedures, I'm happy to be able to say that I am a survivor, and October 7th will be my 3 year anniversary of being cancer free.

Based on the type of cancer I had (Triple Negative Breast Cancer), three years is a big deal. Triple Negative BC is more aggressive, and doesn't have some of the more targeted therapies that other Breast Cancers have available. My chances of recurrence go down drastically after three years and I finally feel like my life has gotten back on track.

My close friends and amazing family all know my story, but I decided against sharing it more broadly when I was sick- I didn't want any additional attention; I just needed to focus and get through it. But now it's three years, and I feel like I need to give back.

Those of you who know me, know that besides my family, friends and doctors, my voice of reason and savior through the stress and fear has been Andrea- my amazing social worker. I don't know how I would have made it through without her.

Andrea works at Mt. Sinai, and is the founder of The Breast Health Resource Program ( a program for which there is no charge to anyone with a diagnosis of breast cancer, at any stage from diagnosis to treatment through survivorship. They are not funded by Mt. Sinai, it is through donations alone that they are able to provide their much needed services. I'd like to give something back to them, so they can continue to support the many, many women (and men) who need them.

So there it is- as we go through September and head into October (or "Pinktober" since it's Breast Cancer Awareness month), please consider donating a few dollars- it will be much appreciated and put to good use!!


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Sara Hafele 
New York, NY
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