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This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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FORCE XRAYS Program Empowers Young Breast Cancer Survivors

January 12, 2017

Unconfuse the News with the FORCE XRAYS Program

When Kimberly Jackson received a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32 while breastfeeding her 6-month old daughter and caring for her 3-½ year old daughter, she fell into shock. In an attempt to understand more about her diagnosis and potential treatments, she began to sort through the vast amount of information she found on the internet only to become exhausted and overwhelmed.

“Finding something that you thought was going to be helpful for your treatment and bringing it back to your doctor, later to find out that that information wasn’t reliable was very upsetting,” said Kimberly who shares her story in XRAYS most recent video illuminating the FORCE XRAYS program and how it helps makes sense of cancer headlines for breast cancer survivors and those at high risk.

With no family history of breast cancer besides her own mother’s diagnosis seven years prior, Kimberly sought accurate advice and information that would help her make more empowered decisions regarding her health. During her treatment, which included chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, and gene testing where she was found to be BRCA1 positive, both her oncologist and genetic counselor introduced her to FORCE.

“It takes cancer headlines and news from the media, rates them, puts them in laymen’s terms that you can understand how it relates to you. It just makes it really easy to sift through what’s reliable and what’s not,” said Kimberly who is now a volunteer support group leader.

The FORCE community continues to grow with cancer survivors, previvors, family members and experts participating in the annual conference, local events and meetings, and the Peer Navigation Program, which offers one on one peer support and resources to those at high risk, recently diagnosed or cancer survivors. Since it’s founding, XRAYS has become the primary resource for young breast cancer survivors, young women at high risk for breast cancers, and those affected by breast cancer, helping them separate the help from the hype by providing relevant and accurate information.

“It’s hard to put into words,” said Kimberly when asked how XRAYS has helped her in her journey. “They’ve given me a lot. I’ve been able to lead people to FORCE and enable them make good decisions about their health and their future and that feels great.”

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