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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

A Breast Cancer Friendship Forged In A Singular Moment

Explore The Incredible And Heartwarming Story Of Terri And Kirstin

This is the narrative of two strangers, both breast cancer survivors, whose worlds unexpectedly collided. Now, they work together as patient advocates in two different states.

Terri and Kirstin met in the summer of 2017 at a program they both applied to for scholarship, The Project LEAD Institute.

Serving separate communities as patient advocates, Terri and Kirstin bonded that summer.

Terri saw Kirstin standing at the hotel registrar checking in for the week-long conference. She noticed the lymphedema sleeve that Kirstin was wearing, walked up to her slowly and said, “Nice sleeve”.

A breast cancer friendship was forged in a singular moment.

They spent late nights pouring over homework assignments during the week of the conference.

Kirstin and Terri labored over understanding and comprehending the intense amount of breast cancer biology and information given to them during the week, and realized they had a very common goal- serving other breast cancer patients, after both having been through the disease, Kirstin once and Terri twice, and both having had different types of breast reconstruction.

The conversations continued after the conference. Terri and Kirstin sought opportunities to share their collective energy and resources with breast cancer communities. They both applied for scholarships to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Terri attended the conference previously and was accustomed to the rigors of the schedule. She promised to be Kirstin’s mentor. The two ended their days at the symposium exhausted from attending general sessions, meeting with scientists and physicians, networking with other patient advocates, and walking too many steps to count. This experience forged their friendship and determination to advocate even more.

They speak frequently on the phone about how they can help each other through advocacy work. Kirstin is a leader in the Bay Area and has immersed herself in various activities and organizations. As a member of the board of directors for the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, she focuses her efforts on survivor support programs and fundraising that serve breast cancer patients regardless of financial status. Kirstin has logged countless hours as an ambassador for Bright Pink, educating and empowering young women to be proactive advocates for their breast and ovarian health. In addition, she is a member of the UCSF Breast Cancer Advocacy Core. She also serves as an advisory board member of Terri’s nonprofit,

Terri, having survived breast cancer twice, began her nonprofit foundation after her second diagnosis and a double mastectomy with a successful DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

Through her research, she found that less than 25% of patients are given information about their options for breast reconstruction. She wanted to improve and change those numbers.

Her foundation focuses on providing the necessary education and resources to empower patients to make an informed decision about reconstructing their breasts after losing them to mastectomy.

Terri is a conduit between patients and world class physicians using various social media platforms to engage a global audience about the breast reconstruction process.

Together they brainstorm and plan advocacy work to support survivors. Recently, Terri traveled to San Francisco and produced several videos with Kirstin to educate about various topics for the breast cancer community.

They are stimulated and energized by conversation about breast cancer, breast reconstruction, and ways to help survivors.

Why? Because they have walked the walk. They are examples of what two advocates can do together to serve their community and help them through survivorship after breast cancer.

There is nothing better than lifelong friends, even if the friendship was forged in steel through breast cancer. And there you have it, a day in the life of two survivors, friends, and patient advocates.

Thank you for sharing your story, sweet friends. We love you!

Follow Terri on Instagram: @DiepCFoundation

Follow Kirstin on Instagram: @kk_says Resources & Support:


Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


The Caregiver Huddle

Third Tuesday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month



July 19,  10:00 a.m. ET


Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

July 15 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

July 22,  6:00 p.m. ET


Art Therapy

August 5, 6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

August 13, 11:30 a.m. ET


Forest Bathing

August 13,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

August 20,  6:00 p.m. ET


Más eventos en español


Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico

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