Christopher has been a long-time Tour de Pink West rider with his wife, Rachel. Christopher also volunteered for the 2017 National Summit in Oakland, CA. He has passionately advocated for co-survivors on the Council of Advisors co-survivors workgroup. He has helped make sure YSC addresses the long-term impact of treatment on survivors and co-survivors, including difficult topics such as sex and intimacy. We are honored to present Christopher Kelley as a YSC Game Changer for his advocacy work as a co-survivor and volunteer.
What inspires you in your work to support, empower or educate young women affected by breast cancer?
My wife (stage 0), my ex-wife (stage IV), and all the young women we’ve met that have been affected by breast cancer. Also the fact that YSC is not a faceless charity; Jennifer Merschdorf actively participates in all facets of YSC and makes herself available to members. Of all the charities I support, there is only one that I’m on a first-name basis with the CEO, and that’s YSC. And, of course, the unequaled Lisa Frank, who made us feel so welcome at my first Tour de Pink in 2012. She ensured we were an instant part of the YSC family.
What about your work for young women affected by breast cancer makes you most proud?
I’m able to give back in some way to support young women who are facing such a life-changing disease. I want to help show them that they’re not alone – there is support for them – and to help educate others about the realities of breast cancer in young women.
What are your hopes for the future, with regard to YSC and young breast cancer survivors?
I hope that even as YSC grows, it is able to maintain the family feel that bonds all the survivors, co-survivors, and supporters together. I hope that the young women facing breast cancer are able to lead fulfilling, joyful lives regardless of their prognosis and that YSC helps enable that.
What is your message for YSC on its 20th anniversary?
The support that YSC has shown to survivors and co-survivors is truly inspirational, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the next 20 years.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Breast cancer takes so much from the young women it affects and all too often from their co-survivors as well. Thanks for being there for everyone.
About YSC and Game Changers
Young Survival Coalition was founded in 1998 by young women diagnosed with breast cancer under age 35.
YSC is made up of people: survivors, co-survivors, volunteers, donors, healthcare providers. Our strength comes from our community. So in our 20th year, we will honor our roots — the people who have helped build YSC into what it is today — and also look forward, recognizing those in our community who are changing the future of breast cancer in young women.
We are highlighting these individuals as Game Changers throughout 2018 and sharing their stories with the world to thank them for their contributions to our community.