Ali, Erica, Jennifer, Adele and Elina: five gorgeous, courageous, extraordinary women who make up 5 Under 40. Jennifer Finkelstein reached out and shared her breast cancer story with me when she saw, on Facebook, that a mutual friend took me to chemotherapy. I was relieved to hear from a thoughtful young woman who channeled her struggle into something positive: founding an organization that helps women with breast cancer under the age of 40. I met Jennifer and her four ambassadors at the 5Under40 benefit event she invited me to in Manhattan. The five women were friendly, intelligent and verbal about their choice of getting double mastectomies; each are clearly happy with the decision they made and their message is loud and clear: talk to my doctor and make the choice that is most comfortable for me.
It turns out Jennifer and I we went to high school together; I didn't know her, she's a couple of years younger than me. Jennifer was a rock during treatment; she called me regularly, listening to my fears and even making me laugh! April 20th, Jennifer crossed the Hudson River with gourmet chocolate and gossip magazines; it was very comforting to see her beautiful face when I woke up from anesthesia. Elina, a fellow triple negative survivor, messaged me frequently during treatment and Ali inspired me with her hair extensions; I'm going to follow in her footsteps!
Coincidentally, Jennifer and I were interviewed separately by Lucette Lagnado, Wall Street Journal writer, for her story on The Double Mastectomy Rebellion: Defying Doctors, More Women With Breast Cancer Choose Double Mastectomies. On page A8, we stand back to back, revealing our personal choices and journey with this deadly disease. We've become good friends #sistersurvivors.