Triple Negative Breast Cancer Working Group
The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Working Group was created to help empower those living with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) by providing patient-focused insights on issues related to those affected by and concerned about TNBC.
The working group brings together the lived experience and knowledge of those living with TNBC, both early-stage TNBC and metastatic TNBC, to help identify and inform Rethink’s annual priorities and also take an active role in helping to create and roll-out education, advocacy and support initiatives that support the unique needs of those with TNBC patients.
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Meet the TNBC Working Group
Laura Moore (she/her) is an educator, survivor and a blossoming advocate. Her journey through a breast cancer diagnosis at age 44 and 18 months of active cancer treatment, has fostered a new perspective and understanding of the realities of a cancer diagnosis, the ensuing treatment and with gratitude, recovery.
Laura detected her lump in May of 2018 and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with stage 3, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), which spread to her lymph nodes. Treatment included neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection, adjuvant chemotherapy and finally radiation that ended in late December 2019.
Since her recovery, Laura has participated in the first edition of Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project, an empowering resource supporting underrepresented Black women and their cancer experience. Laura has also participated in a number of panel discussions about the needs and challenges of those with breast cancer in underrepresented populations. Most recently joining the TNBC Working Group, Laura has found herself becoming more and more involved in the breast cancer community and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
Kim Angell (she/her) was diagnosed with early-stage hormone positive breast cancer in 2016 at 34 years old and nearly 5 years later was diagnosed with triple negative metastatic breast cancer in 2021. Finding a gap in resources for young women living with breast cancer, she started sharing her experience living with cancer through her blog, Smile Through the Fog, and using social media as a platform to advocate and connect with other young women living with breast cancer.
She has contributed to various Rethink Breast Cancer campaigns over the years including being interviewed on the MBC Time podcast and speaking at the Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium to bring an MBC patient perspective to healthcare professionals across Canada. Kim has also volunteered as a patient advocate for BC Cancer and as an ambassador for the TNBC Foundation, Look Good Feel Better, Healthline, and the Cure Foundation.
Kim currently lives on Vancouver Island, BC where she can be found hiking with her two dogs or planning the next new adventure travelling with her husband.
Liz May (she/her) is the Executive Producer of in-house production for advertising agency conglomerate dentsu Canada. She was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma in early 2021 at the age of 32. Feeling lost and overwhelmed after she was thrust into the world of breast cancer and active treatment, Liz found Rethink Breast Cancer’s mission resonated with her – through their ability to target communications, imagery, and information to a younger audience.
Following her diagnosis, one of the hardest realities for her to grasp was having to put a pause on her career when she was on the precipice of the biggest promotion of her life. Liz identified a lack in representation for people like her: young urban professionals without kids. She also noted a lack of information about TNBC treatment pathways and the rapidly-evolving research on TNBC. She is eager to work with Rethink Breast Cancer to close this gap on the TNBC Working Group.
Liz is passionate about patient advocacy, environmental activism, and speaking out on Canada’s #HousingCrisis. A self-professed nerd, she enjoys all things sci-fi, comic-books, and video games, while keeping tabs on Toronto’s vibrant artistic and music community.
Maja (she/her) was diagnosed with stage 3C Triple Negative Metaplastic Breast Cancer when she was 39 years old, forcing her to dive head-first into the world of breast cancer. After going through treatment and finding out she was a carrier of the BRCA2 gene mutation, Maja began sharing her story on social media to connect with others and shed light on TNBC, and also ended up founding a TNBC Canadian support group on Facebook. She has become a familiar face in the community as a breast cancer advocate, dancehall dancer and cat-lover!
Maja’s work in breast cancer advocacy largely involves her breaking barriers for other Filipino and Hispanic women going through similar experiences, as she knows first-hand the barriers BI&POC women can face in the healthcare system and how TNBC impacts them. As a part of this work, last year Maja proudly participated in Uncovered: A Breast Recognition Project, Rethink’s resource that aims to highlight and amplify the experience of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour with breast cancer. Maja is looking forward to being a part of Rethink’s TNBC Working Group because she is extremely passionate about raising her voice and advocating for others in her community and the larger BI&POC community, who can be at a higher risk of being diagnosed with TNBC.
Jen Pogue (she/her) is an actor and producer, based out of Toronto & Peterborough County. Her most recent on screen credits include Ghostwriter (Apple TV), Endlings (CBC Family), How to buy a Baby (CBC Family), Odd Squad (PBS) and the TV movie Sincerely Yours Truly (Super Channel). Jen works with the production collective Filmcoop Inc., having produced dozens of multi-award-winning indie features, shorts & music videos, which have played festivals around the world. She is a co-creator/host of the podcast Women on Screen Out Loud, which promotes women in film on all sides of the camera, and also serves as the Head of Industry for The Canadian Film Fest. When not schmoozing in the film world, she’s also a hobbiest florist and loves designing for small scale weddings and events through her company Flowers by Jen.
Jen’s world came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed at 37 years of age with de novo stage IV, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in February 2021, and she has since spent most of her time in the waiting rooms at Princess Margaret Hospital, and cuddling her husband Warren and dog Scruffie. @jpo_in_to, www.jpoandco.com
Melyssa Hollister is a wife and mother of four – a 16-year-old girl and three boys aged 13, 11 and 9. A sweet dog named Linus rounds out their family. She has a master’s in education with a focus on early literacy and was an elementary school teacher for many years. In 2021, she changed careers and became a real estate agent.
Melyssa was diagnosed with early-stage DCIS and triple negative breast cancer at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and faced the challenges of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation alone because of hospital restrictions. In addition to joining Rethink’s TNBC Working Group, Melyssa has recently joined a University Health Network advisory board looking at ways people diagnosed with cancer can help navigate treatment options and resources with respect to their diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Melyssa loves trying new restaurants and finding local hidden gems! She also has a passion for art and architecture hence the change to real estate – following her passions been a silver lining on the other side of cancer.
Nathalie Baudais (she/her) was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2008, at the age of 29, and with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in 2011. Her treatments have included multiple surgeries, chemotherapy regimens and radiation therapies. She has the BRCA1 genetic mutation.
Nathalie is married and has an 11-year old son. She works full-time as a Senior Transportation Engineer for the City of Saskatoon. In addition to her commitment to Rethink’s MBC Advisory Board, she is involved with a variety of breast cancer charities: She is a peer facilitator for Breast Cancer Support Saskatoon; organizing committee member for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day – Saskatoon; captain of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Saskatoon CIBC run for the cure team; and an advocate for patient involvement in cancer research. Nathalie is excited to take on the role of Co-Chair and continue to help improve the lives of those living with MBC.