#MyLifeIsMyLegacy series by Tigerlily Foundation is a collection of intimate vignettes showing the lives and living legacy of remarkable individuals. Personal stories of people living with Stage IV cancer, early-stage cancer in addition to medical experts, industry trailblazers, caregivers who have not been diagnosed with cancer. These stories build a bridge of knowledge, love, faith, hope and transformation that help us understand the impacts of cancer and provide guidance that will help generations to come.
Diagnosed with Cancer 5 Times
Katrina has heard the words “you have cancer “5x.When she discovered she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation she knew her risks were higher.She also knows that self-advocacy is the key to early detection and that patient advocacy is the pathway to supporting oneself and others affected by cancer.
It is hard to live and breathe cancer all the time, and it’s hard to lose people you love, but Katrina has turned her pain into purpose.In her role at Pfizer as a Director of Advocacy & Professional Relations, she is determined, a visionary and grateful that patients trust her with their voice.As a patient advocate outside of work she is a change-maker, mentor and caregiver who is selfless in her pursuit to help others and to both challenge and change the systems to support equality and improved health outcomes for those living with or living through cancer.
To Katrina her greatest joy and her living legacy is watching her children grow up and flourish and continue the joy, strength and grace throughout their lifetime.
This is Katrina’s legacy.
YouTube Link = https://youtu.be/NNI5Nlsdzig
Alive As long as There are Treatment Options
Megan feels as if sometimes society places the blame on those that are sick.However, at 30 years old, many young adults do not have medical insurance – this delayed Megan going to the doctor when she began to experience pains in her chest.Megan’s symptoms were dismissed, and her cancer continued to grow until she found a medical team that took her concerns seriously.
Megan is passionate about living – no matter what.She moved forward in life with hope and transparency – finding her true love after her second cancer diagnosis – this time at Stage IV.Her partner asked her to marry him the day before she started treatment.
In Megan’s words, “cancer is not always a death sentence, but it is always a life sentence.”She wants to live for herself and those she loves, but the reality is, she can only live as long as there are new clinical trials, treatment options and medical advancements available to her and that work for her body.The fact is that the need for accelerated medical advancements affect us all, so let’s all commit to better research, clinical trials and equitable care for people living with Stage IV cancer, so they have what they need to live as long as possible.
This is Megan’s legacy.
Thriving and Striving for Better Outcomes
Kathryn got through cancer twice, but when her cancer returned, she was faced with a Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis at the age of 37.As a working professional and single mom, it was the love Katheryn had for her daughter Aaliyah that gave her the resilience and strength she needed to push through.
Insurance was the biggest challenge that Kathryn faced, having to deal with access issues and approvals for necessary diagnostic tests and treatment.“I feel like the insurance played a big role in why things dragged out so long”.
Now, living with metastatic breast cancer, Kathryn’s daughter is not only the light of her life but she is her caregiver. Together they learned how to be more empowered advocates for themselves and others – telling their story and are thriving and striving for better outcomes for cancer patients.
This is Kathryn’s legacy.