6 Inspiring Breast Cancer Survivors, Advocates, and Researchers

6 Inspiring Breast Cancer Survivors, Advocates, and Researchers

One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American women behind skin cancers. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign occurring each October, is a time dedicated to increasing awareness of the disease and celebrating breast cancer survivors.

With a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in the United States, the effects of this disease are omnipresent and widespread. Although much less common in men, breast cancer can still occur and even be fatal. This October, raise awareness in your own communities by booking a speaker for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These motivational speakers are breast cancer survivors, advocates, and researchers with stories that will inspire and educate your audience as they shed light on breast cancer and all those whom it affects.

Breast Cancer Survivors & Advocates

Who better to speak with your audience about breast cancer awareness than those who have been through it themselves? These breast cancer survivors and advocates speak on their own stories and triumphs with the disease, giving an inside look on their experiences and takeaways.

1. Joan Lunden

Award-Winning Journalist, Bestselling Author & Health and Wellness Advocate

An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, and women’s health and wellness advocate, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 30 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on “Good Morning America,” bringing insight to the day’s top stories. As the longest-running female host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered five presidents, five Olympics, and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families, and their health.

In June of 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, which required chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. An eternal optimist, Lunden wanted to turn her diagnosis into an opportunity to help others. She blogged throughout her cancer treatment and wrote a memoir, “Had I Known,” which documents her battle with the disease, and reflects on her life and career. Lunden advocates for patients on Capitol Hill, and actively communicates with the cancer community through her social media and on her website.

Today, Lunden continues to be one of America’s most recognized and trusted personalities. Lunden is a sought-after speaker and event host throughout the country. She is the host of the host the PBS television series, “Second Opinion with Joan Lunden.” She also hosts the Washington Post Podcast series, “Caring for Tomorrow” on the future of healthcare.

2. Giuliana Rancic

Entertainment Journalist & Breast Cancer Survivor

Giuliana Rancic is an entertainment journalist, author, fashion and beauty expert, and television personality with over three million devoted followers on Twitter, three million on Instagram, and 10 million followers across her social media platforms. Rancic is the host of the internationally-watched entertainment news show, “E! News,” and has been on the red carpet for every mega-event in the entertainment industry (Oscars, Grammy Awards, Golden Globes) interviewing the stars and getting breaking Hollywood scoop as well as all things pop culture. Beyond hosting, she is also the author of “I Do, Now What?” and “Going Off Script”.

In 2011, Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy that same year. Following her treatment, she created “Fab-U-Wish,” a program to grant fashion, beauty and celebrity-themed wishes to women battling breast cancer. This program is just one aspect of her ongoing mission to help those going through hardships to find happiness and a positive outlook on life. Others include The Pink Agenda, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Operation Smile, Dress For Success, and the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago. In 2002, Rancic joined “E! News” as a correspondent and in 2005 became solo anchor and managing editor for the show, taking it from the lowest rated show on the network to number one within one year.

3. Geralyn Lucas

Breast Cancer Survivor & Author of “Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy”

Geralyn Lucas was only 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like many breast cancer survivors, her world was shaken. She was faced with the harrowing decision of whether to undergo a mastectomy. Having been diagnosed at an early age, Lucas thought it was important to share her story with others to help dispel the myth that breast cancer discriminates by age. Filled with courage, humor, and inspirational candor, “Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy” details Lucas’ internal struggle to feel sexy and whole once again after losing a key female-defining characteristic. In 2006, “Why I Wore Lipstick” was turned into a Lifetime movie starring Sarah Chalke as Lucas.

In 2014, Lucas released another memoir, “Then Came Life: A Memoir of Living with the Same Courage, Spirit, and Humor that Helped Me Survive Breast Cancer.” In “Then Came Life,” Lucas explores what it means to survive cancer only to be faced with new challenges to overcome. Lucas was an editorial producer at ABC News for 20/20 before joining Lifetime Television as a producer and head of the Stop Breast Cancer for Life Initiative.

Breast Cancer Researchers & Specialists

Leading researchers are constantly working to develop breast cancer treatment and prevention methods and to call more attention to this disease. Their knowledge, experience, and determination will open up your audience to the reality of breast cancer in a heartfelt and informative way. Check out these top breast cancer speakers on research and prevention.

4. Dr. Jackie Walters

Award-Winning OB-GYN; Two-Time Breast Cancer Survivor; Cast Member of Bravo’s “Married to Medicine”

Philanthropist, health expert, women’s advocate, tv personality, and award-winning OBGYN, Dr. Jacqueline Walters is on a mission to impact the lives of millions. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Dr. Jackie has turned her pain into a passion for nurturing the emotional and physical needs of women and men diagnosed with breast cancer.

After her medical schooling,“Dr. Jackie,” as she is affectionately known, started in private practice where she became affiliated with Northside Hospital in Atlanta. In her practice, Dr. Jackie merges traditional and steadfast medicine along with a cutting-edge method that focuses on the mind, body and spirit. She’s also incorporated a Women’s Wellness Program and a “Fit Is the New It” initiative into her practice to promote healthy living and awareness of heart disease among women. She is founder of the 50 Shades of Pink Foundation, an organization established in 2013 whose mission is to treat the inner and outer beauty of survivors.

50 Shades of Pink hosts an annual fundraising event in October that generates awareness of the organization’s work through gifting, sponsorship of various health initiatives and family workshops. Dr. Jackie has been featured on HLN, the “STEVE” talk show, ESSENCE, Glamour, People.com, BlackEnterprise.com, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Rolling Out. She speaks frequently around the country on women’s health, wellness, and self-esteem.

5. Dr. Kristi Funk

Founder of Pink Lotus Breast Center; Breast Cancer Specialist; Author of “Breasts: The Owner’s Manual”

Dr. Kristi Funk is a board-certified surgical breast specialist who founded the Pink Lotus Breast Center in 2007 with her husband and business partner Andy Funk. She is an expert in minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment methods for all types of breast disease and has helped thousands of women through breast cancer treatment, including well-known celebrities who have turned to her for her expertise. Her book, “Breasts: The Owner’s Manual: Every Woman’s Guide to Reducing Cancer Risk, Making Treatment Choices, and Optimizing Outcomes” is a national bestseller.

An outstanding investigator, Dr. Funk patented a surgical device used to increase operating room efficiency, assisted in the development of a method for the rapid detection of cytomegalovirus, and helped design an in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility test.

Dr. Funk’s published works have appeared in Advanced Therapy of Breast Disease, Surgical Clerkship Manual, Archives of Surgery, the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. She is a sought after presenter and TV personality and has appeared in dozens of TV shows, news articles, and stories.

6. Dr. Laura Esserman

Surgeon & Breast Cancer Oncology Specialist at UCSF; Director of UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center

Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, an internationally recognized breast surgeon, breast oncology specialist, and visionary in personalized medicine, is revolutionizing breast cancer screening and treatment. As a Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, Dr. Esserman’s breast cancer work spans a spectrum from basic science to public policy issues and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care. She is a provocative thought leader calling attention to and finding solutions for overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer, especially of DCIS.

Dr. Esserman has published more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is regularly consulted by prestigious scientific, business, and consumer media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Health Magazine, Prevention Magazine, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, ABC World News, the NBC Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, and NPR’s Science Friday. Dr. Esserman was included as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016, and was the recipient of the 2016 Stanford Business School Ernest C. Arbuckle Award and the 2016 Personalized Medicine World Conference Pioneer and Luminary Award.

This October, bring awareness to the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. These speakers on breast cancer awareness are here to educate your audience on the ins and outs of the disease, inspire them with their personal stories of triumph, and share with them what they can do to help. When you’re ready to book the perfect speaker for your Breast Cancer Awareness Month event, AAE is here to help.