Throughout October, we’ll be featuring powerful advocates from the YSC community. They come from diverse backgrounds, and each have unique approaches to advocacy. There’s no one way to be an advocate; we hope these profiles will inspire you on your advocacy journey.
Name: Kristina Tripplett…but most people call me either Nikki or Trip
Age at diagnosis: 36
Age now: 39
Location: Houston, Texas
What is your advocacy focus?
My advocacy focus is mainly the underprivileged and the under-informed, and women of color.
What are the biggest issues in this area for young women?
The biggest issue for me is that my people are dying of breast cancer at faster rates but hearing less about it. African American women under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.
Another huge issue is how LGBTQ people are treated in the medical world. In the beginning of my treatment, the whole “Gay Thing” was a BIG issue! I call it the “Gay Thing” because that how it was considered…at first, doctors failed to mention that there were other options than just accepting that I would have to become infertile to save my life! I wasn’t informed of the fertility options that could potentially have saved my ability to be a mom.
How did you first get involved with advocacy?
I got cancer, and I got pissed!
Who do you advocate for – yourself? A friend or family member? Your community? Let us know by joining our social media campaign, #ImAdvocatingFor.
Tell us about something you’ve accomplished or taken part in that you’re proud of.
I had a gold grill created that says, “F*ck Cancer” and I use it as a conversation-starter, and to bring attention to the fact that young women can get breast cancer. Well, it got the attention of Forbes.com and I was featured in their publication!
What’s your advice for someone looking to get started?
Unless you’re a giant (or a millionaire) all you can do is start small. But the biggest sandcastle started with the first small scoop; the biggest victories started with the smallest plays; and the biggest, strongest trees started with the smallest seeds. There is no better time than now to get involved.
How do you cope after a tough day?
I remember the chemo days — it makes anything bearable and doable!