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Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to cope with late-stage breast cancer every day, brings you frequent articles, points-of-view, and advice from leading patient advocates and experts.

Current Advocates

Melissa Berry

Melissa Berry is a 6 year Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor and Founder of She is a breast cancer thriver, recipient of the 2019 YWCA Beacon of Light Award, a Power Ambassador for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Greater NYC), Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation’s 2016 Courage Award, veteran fashion/beauty publicist, professional speaker, and consultant. Read more.

Maxine Devereaux

Since then I’ve made it my mission to reach the world one breast at a time. I’ve written two books: My Last Breast and the Power and Grace of 50, a tip book for breast cancer patients and caregivers. I’ve also created an inspirational Greeting Card Line to Inspire Cancer Patients. Read more.

April Doyle

April was diagnosed with Stage 1B intra-ductal carcinoma in 2009. After a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy, she was cancer free until it returned as Stage IV breast cancer in 2014. Read more.

Emily Garnett

Emily is a mother, wife, and elder law attorney who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November of 2017, just days after her son’s second birthday and less than a week after her fifth wedding anniversary. Read more.

Tori Geib

Tori Geib was diagnosed in 2016 with Metastatic Breast Cancer (DeNovo), soon after her 30th birthday. At the time she was diagnosed, Tori worked as an Assistant Sous Chef at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and as Food and Beverage Manager at Mad River Mountain Ski Resort. Tori is currently being treated at Stefanie Spielman Breast Center in Columbus, Ohio. Read more.

Bob Holden

Bob was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in January 2003. In 2001, Bob went to the doctor because he had felt a lump in his breast. The doctor said it was probably nothing, but did refer him to another doctor. The second Doctor diagnosed him with gynecomastia. Bob was relieved that it wasn’t anything serious. In 2002 Bob’s clavicle fractured for no apparent reason. He had surgery and the biopsy came back benign. Read more.

Linda Holden

Linda is a caregiver for her husband Bob. Bob was diagnosed with MBC de novo in January 2003. Bob had gone to the Doctor because he had a lump in his breast. Because it is rare in males to get BC they didn’t do a biopsy. After his clavicle fractured for the second time for no apparent reason he was diagnosed with MBC. Bob has been permanently disabled since his diagnosis. At the time of Bob’s diagnosis Bob was given 24-30 months to live. Read more.

Abigail Johnston

Abigail is a daughter, mother, wife, and attorney who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in June of 2017, close on the heels of a early stage diagnosis in March of 2017. In reality, the breast cancer had already spread to Abigail’s bones before she felt the lump in her breast. Read more.

Sarah Kelly

Sarah Kelly is a stage 3, Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Sarah was 36 years old had recently gotten married, had a 14 month old and was 32 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed. After 2 rounds of chemo, Sarah was induced, delivering her daughter on Monday and having her 3rd round of chemo that Friday, she calls that her Warrior Week! Read more.

Julie Lanford

Julie Lanford MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, is the Wellness Director for Cancer Services, a non-profit in Winston-Salem, NC. She is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and board certified specialist in oncology nutrition with over 10 years experience working in oncology. Read more.

Alison Petok

Alison Petok is an oncology social worker; she received her Master in Social Work and Master in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in oncology research and currently serves as a clinical social worker in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. In her current role she serves as the palliative medicine social worker, provides clinical services to patients and families, mentors current MPH students, and manages biopsychosocial screening programs. Read more.

Rebecca Palpant-Shimkets

Rebecca Palpant Shimkets is a two-time thyroid cancer survivor and the daughter of two cancer survivors. Fourteen of her immediate family members have experienced cancer. She was 29 years old at the time of her first diagnosis and experienced a recurrence just four years later. Rebecca has a 20-year career in mental health focusing initially on the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses. Read more.

Susan Rahn

Susan is a respected advocate in the breast cancer community. Currently, she is the President of METUP, a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to changing the landscape of MBC. She was an Editor/Writer/Publisher and one of the co-founders of The Underbelly, an online magazine for all stages of breast cancer. Read more.

Lora Rhodes

​Lora received her BS in psychology from Penn State University and MSW from Rutgers University. A social worker for over 25 years, she returned to clinical work in 2014 at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, where she began her career in oncology social work in 1996. In her current role she provides support services to patients from young adults to seniors. Read more.

Rod Ritchie

Rod Ritchie is a Sydney-born writer, internet publisher, and breast cancer patient advocate. I am a regular poster on Twitter @malefitness and contribute to various closed breast and prostate cancer Facebook pages. Read more.

Leah Robert

Leah Robert has always had a passion for health and wellness, which lead her into her career as an oncology nurse. Her passion and expertise in helping cancer patients was reinforced when her sister Sarah was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Read more.

Andrew Silver

Andrew Silver is a writer whose life has been changed by metastatic breast cancer twice: once as a fifteen-year-old, when his mother, Linda, died of metastatic breast cancer at 43, two years after diagnosis, and once as a fifty-year-old, when his wife, Anya, died of metastatic breast cancer at 49, fourteen years after diagnosis. Read more.

Danielle Thurston

Danielle Thurston is a metastatic breast cancer thriver, first diagnosed with stage II triple negative breast cancer in 2017 at age 33 after the birth of her baby. In 2019 she found out the cancer had returned, this time in her lung and with it, a stage IV diagnosis at age 35. Read more.

Celeste Vaughan-Briggs

Celeste Vaughan-Briggs, LSCW has more than 25 years of social-work experience and now serves as Manager of the Free Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program at Thomas Jefferson University’s (Jefferson’s) Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Read more.

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