The usually upbeat San Francisco resident is at times sentimental in October. The ubiquitous pink ribbons, promoting breast cancer awareness month, not only rouse memories of her mother’s two successful battles against breast cancer but also her own fight against the disease after her October 1998 diagnosis. An employee of Levi Strauss and Co., she helped launch the “Khakis for the Cause” line. The company will donate $1 for every pair of khakis sold, up to $100,000.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about breast cancer? I think people make a lot of assumptions that genetics play a higher role and that young women think they don’t need to do self-examinations. You need to do self-exams in your 20s and 30s.
When you were diagnosed, was it difficult to find information about what steps to take? One of the hardest things to navigate was the insurance companies and what was approved and what wasn’t. When I moved out here [10 years ago], I had no family, I had no one to turn to. Luckily my friend [Andrea Fox], who worked at Levi Strauss, walked me through everything.
What are you doing to raise more awareness? I’m on the board of directors for the local Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and our Dockers team sponsors a survivors tribute after the annual Komen Race for the Cure [which took place on Sept. 22 in The City and is the world’s largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks], where we honor survivors by inviting them to walk through a human tunnel. The reason for this is to see how many more young people are actually diagnosed each year. It was amazing how many survivors are in their 30s.
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