Q13 Fox News Online Staff
October 17, 2008
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
According to the Young Survivor Coalition more than a quarter-million American women under the age of 40 are living with breast cancer.
And each year, more than 11,000 women under the age of 40 will have to face the devastating diagnosis.
Over the next few weeks, Q13 FOX is introducing you to an extraordinary group of young breast cancer survivors, all from the Seattle area, and all tied together by common hopes and fears.
More than 4,000 women in our state will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Nearly 800 of them will die.
Jill Cohen, breast cancer survivor recalls, “It took me months to get used to the fact that my cancer had come back and it was everywhere. In my bones .. from my skull all the way down to my knees.”
Jill Cohen has stage four, metastatic. Jill says, “having stage four disease is like having a merry-go-round where you're always on it. Sometimes you're on the pony going up. Sometimes you're on the bench hanging out but you never get off.”
Jill, along with Katie Hogan and Kristen Haugen, are holding on. In fact, they're living. Thanks in part to a life-line ... on-line -- the Young Survival Coalition and the Northwest Young Survivors who meet twice a month at Gilda's club on Capitol Hill.
Katie says, “we finally get to meet women in the same age group ...with the same condition because sometimes it's less common for young women to advance into metastatic.”
Seattle has the highest rate of breast cancer in the country, the entire state ranks third.
Katie says, “we represent the dark side because we are in the place that women don't want to find themselves.”
Jill adds, “but when the sun is shining ... You can forget for a few minutes that you have this thing growing inside your body.”
The women have been kind enough to open up ... They 'are' complicated ones ... and not just because of the disease but what about motherhood? What their bodies look like after surgeries ... and how that affects their psyche ... their husbands - how do they bring the subject up?
They'll tell you first hand throughout the month
Next Friday, we'll take a look at how some of these ladies are helping each other through their careers and work.