Member Stories: Meet Shawn

January 1, 2022

The theme of A Calendar to Live By 2022 is Perseverance. All 12 women who grace its pages have honest, inspiring stories of perseverance to share with readers -- as well as words of advice for other young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Read on to get to know more about Ms. January 2022.

Ms. December 2014   |   Diagnosed at 42 (2010)

The idea of perseverance is close to Shawn’s heart, and not just because she faced breast cancer. When she was first diagnosed with the disease, she discovered her daughter’s father had been unfaithful. “The combination made me such a weepy, sad and scared mess. I was so afraid to die alone.” At that time in her life, she was self-conscious and had a negative body image made worse by losing her hair and breasts. She credits having a loving support system that included friends, family, and H4TG sisters with helping her through that difficult time and through all that came afterwards. Since then, Shawn’s life has completely changed. She has a new job she enjoys, and she and her daughter made a fresh start in a different state. It was scary to rebuild her life but doing so helped her discover strength and peace. “I feel more like a survivor today. I made a lot of changes and I'm not afraid of the future.”

Shawn wants to be there for young women facing some of the challenges she faced. “I am grateful to still be here and be a resource and support for the newly diagnosed, and to just be with my sisters in the same battle.”

Shawn has this advice for survivors: Tell your friends you want to hear about their crummy life stuff because you aren’t just thinking about and talking about your cancer and besides – sharing is what friends do. They share, and vent, and rant, and listen and advise and love.

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