My name is Susan Nies. I am a breast cancer survivor and advocate for early detection for all women, but especially women under forty. In the past twenty years, I have had several roles including; mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, Teacher of Children with Special Needs and most recently patient. As a mom I found myself raising my young daughter in a dysfunctional household, with a husband who struggled with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, he lost his life to suicide when our daughter was nine
years old. Following this challenging time in our lives, I was able to help my child deal with the process of grief while grieving myself. After picking ourselves back up and moving on, I met my best friend, partner for life and my daughter’s amazing step-father, Matthew. Through the past 9 years, he has helped me parent a strong confident young lady who is currently attending the University of Central Florida on a full academic scholarship. I have also been blessed to be an educational leader, mentor, and
teacher for nineteen years. With a bachelor’s degree in the area of Exceptional Student Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, I have been able to help numerous families navigate the educational system and have helped their children learn to thrive despite their differences. The last year has also been a journey of discovery and strength for our family, following my diagnosis of Stage 2B Breast Cancer and a BRCA1 positive genetic test result the treatment seemed daunting. As a family, we have made it through chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiation therapy and a full hysterectomy
over the last eleven months. During this time, I was shocked at the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in their twenties and thirties. The lowest suggested guideline for mammogram screening is currently at age forty. It is my goal to start a non-profit organization, “The One in Eight Breast Cancer Initiative”, to help with guidance and financial assistance for women diagnosed before the age of forty. I have recently started a website and blog to build awareness and to tell the story of my breast cancer
journey. Please visit my website!