top of page
  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Living Beyond Breast Cancer Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference 2024

By Kathleen Friel

I had the great fortune of attending the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Conference from April 19-21, 2024, in Philadelphia. I was able to see several members of our SBC family in person, and my mom joined me on the trip!

Seeing people in person is such a treasure.

This year, I was a participant in LBBC’s Hear My Voice (HMV) advocacy training

program, which dovetailed with the conference. About 30 people were selected to be in the 2024 class.

If you applied and didn’t get in, keep trying! It took me a couple of tries. We

met as a class for about 10 hours of Zoom-based and offline training in April.

We learned how to be stronger advocates for ourselves and our friends with MBC in

many ways. We learned about ways to advocate to legislators, encouraging them to

increase research funding for MBC and pass laws that will bring people with MBC more

medical benefits. We learned about research advocacy – serving as grant reviewers or

patient advocates in research studies. We spent time brainstorming fundraisers and

social media education content. We laughed a lot, we shared our stories, and we grew


At the LBBC conference, we sat together, with our caregivers. It was amazing to meet

people in person. Cancer is a strong bond. Similar to in our SBC family, we can meet

someone and quickly dive into the intimacies of living with cancer. Everyone in HMV has

MBC, which I think gives us even stronger connection. We’re eager to work hard to

advocate for the MBC community, while also living with the side effects and uncertainty

of MBC. We don’t know how much energy, time, or even life we’ve got in our future. I

found it very uplifting to know these lovely friends who are committed to making a

difference for others in the MBC community amid their own MBC struggles.

We also had a class Spotify playlist! I’m not sure if I correctly submitted mine, though

here it is. The writer and singer, Nightbirde, died of MBC in 2022, after shining on

America’s Got Talent. I honor the bravery of our class, and all living with MBC.

Nightbirde’s definition of bravery is to live authentically. I just love her music!

The LBBC conference was short but full of information and connection! All presentations

are online for viewing! We heard presentations from panels of people with MBC, sharing

their tips for navigating this wild ride. One panelist brought me to tears – diagnosed with MBC at 18 years of age. Unreal. She just got married and seems to be doing quite well.

Every year, there’s a presentation about the newest medications and clinical trials for

people with MBC. It’s always a session that brings me mixed emotions. It’s great that

new drugs are being developed. I have several dear friends on a drug that was only

approved last year, and the drug is working for most! Still, the timelines give me chills.

Drugs still don’t work for very long, as MBC is like an evil shapeshifter that mutates to

become drug-resistant.

At one point in the conference, a speaker asked people to stand up based on how many

years they’ve lived with MBC. Lots are at 1-2 years. Once the speaker got up to 7-10

years, not many stood up. But some did! And then the super responders got a standing

ovation, those living 15, 20, or more years with MBC. It was a mix of hopeful and

sobering to me, as I near my 6 th anniversary of diagnosis.

Getting to see my friends in person is the best part of the conference! There was social

time, which included time to visit exhibitor booths. The SBC booth rocked!!

Even @ImLoganTheGolden Laura, and William’s dog, made an appearance. There were many exhibitors from organizations that provided support to people with MBC.

Since I’m writing this on Mother’s Day weekend, I also want to celebrate my mom!

She’s come to LBBC with me for two years now, and her support every day means so much to me.

I spent a lot of time in doctor's offices and hospitals as a kid, and my entire family has been there for me throughout. The love, advocacy, and resilience of my mom are huge sources of strength and example for me.

Thank you, Mom!!



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


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


Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

May 20 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


In Body Breathwork

May 21 ,  6:00 p.m. ET


Brain Spotting

May 27,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

May 28,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

June 3, 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

Jun 4,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

June 10,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

June 11, 11:30 a.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

June 11,  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

bottom of page