In 2017, Leah was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and told she was going to die within the next two years.

Nearly four years later and instead, she’s thriving. Using her experience as a dietitian, exercise physiologist, and wellbeing expert, Leah crafted a strategy of resilience to help her reach total remission. Her formula for success using nutrition, exercise, mindset, kindness, authenticity, and love has helped her to beat the odds despite initially being given a one to four percent chance of survival.

Leah has been working with companies and individuals on nutrition and wellness for over fifteen years. She’s worked with multiple global organizations on their employee health and wellness strategy including Marriott International, McCormick & Co., Hilton Worldwide, Johns Hopkins, and ExxonMobil.

She’s also the co-founder of The Willow Foundation, which provides funding to researchers that strive to find a connection between diet, exercise, and mindset and improved outcomes for late-stage cancer patients.

Leah holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, a Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. She’s a registered dietitian and ACSM certified exercise physiologist. She’s a former division-one athlete and medical officer in the United States Army Reserves.

As an experienced writer and nutrition coach, I am also a breast cancer survivor and mom of two teen boys. 

In addition to seeing clients in both person and remote, I have worked in the corporate world in publishing, editorial and marketing for over 30 years across health and wellness. I have been the editor & publisher of a successful parenting website and blog for over a decade, covering health and wellness topics for local parents, as well as writing about healthy dining options for other local news outlets and promoting healthy products and brands. Previously I managed marketing and social media for a men’s skincare company, doing campaigns related to men’s physical and mental health awareness. I am also the former communications manager for Oxford Health. With a son who has Celiac disease, I am also currently writing a book about living with gluten intolerance.

I would love to use my experience and knowledge to help others navigate their health journey at various stages of life, especially cancer survivors.

I’m currently in a part of the cancer journey, that I never knew existed. I believed that, it would be all over once the cancer went into Remission. I was sadly mistaken, & found out that I would have to continue chemo treatments. I actually hate chemo more than anything in the world. Thank God for family, friends, & THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS that constantly surround me with good energy, and keep me encouraged. Chances are that I may have to take chemo treatments for the rest of my life. This chapter is almost like, a bonus chapter of a terrible book. Regardless of how I feel about this journey, I’m grateful to God for where I am. There’s always SOMETHING to be grateful for!

My name is Mercy, I have had Mycosis Fungoides for over 10 years. After living with my condition for so long I decided to truly celebrate myself. My teenage years were difficult, I spent years hiding my skin and trying to run away from myself. After going through treatments, I began to accept that there was no cure. This acceptance was the first step to my confidence journey. My journey evolved and I began to truly love and appreciate my differences. Growing up, I hadn’t seen myself represented anywhere, never on the front page of a magazine or in my day-to-day life. So decided I was going to work towards changing that. Not only for myself but others living with a chronic illness or visible difference, so that others experiencing the same insecurities may instead see the beauty in their skin. Why blend in when you were born to stand out?

Psychotherapist Extraordinaire and award winning mental health clinician Lola Clay, A.B.D., Ph. D, LPC-S, CART, BCPC is a native Texan. Lola’s expertise exceeds general psychotherapy as she is also a relationship expert and life coach. She works with businesses as an organizational consultant and has worked in many renowned mental healthcare facilities. She is a certified Jungian therapist and trauma specialist. Her knowledge extends to sexual health and behaviors, transcendental meditation, domestic violence, and anger resolution. Lola is world renowned for her groundbreaking work as a television personality and expert in weight management as it relates to cognitive processes. Following her mother’s 2019 transition due to pancreatic cancer, Lola became an advocate for raising awareness regarding pancreatic cancer and has helped raise over $250,000 for research. Lola’s motto, “I am passionate about helping patients and caregivers navigate their journeys with dignity and joy.” 

Brittany Knupper is a writer living in Los Angeles, California with her two goblins that occasionally resemble a dog and a cat. She has written for film and geek culture sites such as Nerdist, Fangoria, and StarTrek.com. When not in treatment, she spends her days tending to her ever-growing plant collection, hosting burlesque shows, and baking large cakes that she never finishes eating.

I’m Madeleine Jane, a mom and a nana, I’m from Piedmont California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology although my favorite classes were Psychology. I now live in Lake Oswego, Oregon and love cooking, entertaining, gardening and yoga.

Bob McEachern is a Follicular Lymphoma patient and advocate. Soon after his diagnosis in 2008, he started a blog to update family and friends about his condition. Years later, the blog continues to be a source of education and inspiration for FL patients and caregivers in over 80 countries. A writing teacher, Bob is a former columnist for Lymphoma News Today and a Community Advocate for Blood-Cancer.com, and has written about cancer and patient advocacy for The Mighty, Patients Have Power Magazine, and Media Commons, among other venues. He has served as a Consumer Reviewer for the Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Programs on peer-reviewed cancer research and rare cancers, and as a member of the HealtheVoices Impact Fund Advisory Board.  He lives in Connecticut with his amazing wife and three kids, and slightly less amazing dog.

Yolanda is the Founder of Spitfir Productions specializing in Brand Strategy; and a former Brand Fashion Manager. She’s penned “Another Face of Multiple Myeloma”, reflecting on her journey with multiple myeloma. Yolanda is also the Executive Director of Mae’s Breath Foundation 501c (3). Mae’s Breath Foundation is a lung cancer awareness organization that promotes and provides information to the community about the disease. Yolanda is the Founder, President, and Certified Trainer of Chronic Fitness a fitness boutique service for clients with chronic conditions, who seek fitness direction. She’s currently in remission. She’s hopeful for a cure to myeloma- but until then living life as an advocate for health.

Debra Braddock (formerly Madden) is a 2-time cancer survivor who was first diagnosed at the age of 22 years as a young adult shortly after she’d graduated from college. She had been struggling with unexplained symptoms for several years–symptoms that she later learned were “classic” for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After a particularly horrific bout of coughing during which Debra couldn’t catch her breath, her father insisted on bringing her for a chest x-ray. The moment she saw that x-ray, time was divided into “before” and “after.” She finally received her explanation: she had stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thus began her entry into young adulthood and a world comprised of painful biopsies, CT scans, chemotherapy, radiation, and more time spent with her oncology nurses than with her friends and new work colleagues. As many young adult cancer survivors will tell you, receiving such a diagnosis at that time of your life brings with it multiple unique, difficult challenges. And for some of us, not only does it divide time, but it shapes who we are henceforward. For Debra, it has affected every important adult decision of her life, including career choices, when to get married, the question of having children, whether and when to move, and on and on and on. And again, as with far too many young adult cancer survivors, in the years following Debra’s treatment for Hodgkin’s, she went on to develop several serious late effects secondary to that treatment, including serious cardiac issues in her 30s and a second cancer diagnosis at the age of 42: this time, stage 2 ER+, PR-, HER2- breast cancer. It was following Debra’s second cancer diagnosis that she became a nationally active cancer research advocate. One afternoon shortly after her bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and a day or so after she’d once again begun chemotherapy, she began her transition from a patient to a patient advocate. She was reading about a breast cancer survivor who decided that she wanted to gain a seat at the table with clinicians and investigators where research decisions were made. She joined the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and applied for their extremely competitive and rigorous advanced six-day scientific course, called “Project LEAD,” that focuses on the biology of breast cancer, genetics and genomics, epigenetics, epidemiology, research design, advocacy, and more. Debra decided then and there that when she completed her active cancer treatment, she was going to apply for the NBCC’s “Project LEAD.” She applied and was as ecstatic as when she’d received her college acceptance letter when she learned that she’d gotten in. She walked into that class in Denver as a shy, recovering cancer patient and walked out as a passionate cancer research advocate with countless lifelong new friends who were fellow breast cancer survivors. She immediately started to make additional connections and shortly established partnerships with scientists and clinicians to design breast cancer research protocols, began to review breast cancer research proposals for the Department of Defense (DOD)’ Breast Cancer Research Program and other research panels, and became a member of several Scientific Advisory Committees. Further, as one who had already been a medical writer for many years, she began to write journal articles, patient educational materials, and commentary on breast cancer and other medical and health issues. As a nationally active cancer research advocate, Debra is a member of the NBCC; several committees and subcommittees with the ECOG/ACRIN Cancer Research Group; was a member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)’s inaugural Advisory Panel on the Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options, and regularly participates on integration programmatic panel grant reviews for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ Breast Cancer Research Program. Due to her frustration with the lack of scientific rigor regarding complex medical issues reported in the popular media, she also began a blog that deconstructs and shines a light on the often misleading, sensationalized, or downright inaccurate information provided to the public in her ongoing efforts to improve health literacy and ensure that patients are able to make informed decisions as active members of their own healthcare teams. You can find her blog at https://cancerresearchadvocate.com/. Ever since her diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Debra is passionate about taking complex medical information and making it understandable, timely, accessible, and actionable for patients, their caregivers, consumers, clinicians, researchers, and additional audiences. In fact, she recently left her long-time position at an ambulatory neurology practice–where she served as the health information technology / electronic health record (EHR) project manager and as a clinical systems specialist after her regional hospital system acquired her practice. She did so, so that she may concentrate full time on her content writing, editing, and blogging as a freelancer / contractor on important medical and health issues. Debra wanted to establish a name and logo for her new business that captured her eagle-eye attention to detail in a whimsical, interesting way, so she and her husband came up with the name, “The Persnickety Scrivener.” He then designed a logo that highlights a bespectacled bunny busy at work editing a towering stack of work—just the way that Debra prefers it.