Our Community Leaders for Change program continues to grow, and we’re honored to introduce our newest member, Valerie Deering. For more information about the Community Leaders for Change program or to become a Community Leader, please contact Alyssa Figueroa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was diagnosed with end stage breast cancer in 2010 and I’m still here. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. I have spent the last 15 years in the mental health field, educating people and assisting them with their rehabilitation journeys. I have recently evolved my focus to include trauma rehabilitation, specifically healing the entire system, both mental and physical. In 2014, I received my Reiki Master training. I love to help people heal.
I spent many years running 5ks in the name of breast cancer prevention until I discovered the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. and realized my time could and would be better spent. That led me to Breast Cancer Action in 2013. My first activity was a screening of that powerful movie, and it’s now an annual event in my community. I look forward to building community in my area with even more of these types of events.
I became a Community Leader for Change with Breast Cancer Action because education around the disease is sorely needed. My own experience being treated for breast cancer raised my awareness of how we handle the disease and sensitized me to who is getting it. I was 39 years old at the time of my diagnosis and felt that I was “too young.” I have since met many women who are diagnosed much younger than I was. I also became sensitized to the whispering that we, as a society, do about the realities of breast cancer and actually experienced it in my own “tribe.” This increases our anxiety about it. We need to put the power back in our hands and we can do that by educating ourselves. I strongly believe in the mission of Breast Cancer Action and believe that together we can make a difference!