At 42, Loretta was a full-time nurse practitioner and educator raising four-year-old twins with her husband. She never thought she would be told she had breast cancer. When diagnosed, Loretta was desperate to find someone who understood the struggles she was facing and could give her a survivor’s perspective on treatment options, especially reconstruction.
As Loretta searched online for information specific to “young women and breast cancer,” she found Young Survival Coalition (YSC). As a health care worker herself, she thought, “It’s imperative for all medical professionals dealing with young women diagnosed with breast cancer to have access to YSC’s resources and give them to their patients immediately upon diagnosis.”
Wanting other young survivors to know they weren’t alone, Loretta took on the role of educational chair with YSC in Kansas City. She expanded the group’s outreach efforts and garnered recognition for YSC among local oncologists and health care providers.
Loretta organized workshops covering topics such as genetics, nutrition and fitness, sex and intimacy, treatment updates, cardiac implications, bone health concerns following treatment and advocacy opportunities. These events incorporated YSC’s educational Factor Series, and the sessions provided a forum for the medical community to learn from survivors and dispel the myth that young women can’t get breast cancer.
Today, Loretta continues to educate herself, as well as others. She recently served as a consumer peer reviewer for the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs in Breast Cancer research and, in July 2013, attended the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) advanced advocate training program Project LEAD. Staying on top of the latest research, she makes it her mission to keep her colleagues informed.
Thank you Loretta for your dedication to connecting the medical community of Kansas City to the women of YSC (#YSCBuzz)!