After completing treatment for breast cancer in 2004, I founded a nonprofit organization called Pink-Link to help connect other survivors online. During my treatment, I felt extremely blessed that I lived in a large city with access to top medical care and various types of support groups. I met many women, however, that did not have that type of access and felt like I needed to do something to help them.
I was having lunch with a survivor friend of mine in January ’05 and she expressed the need to talk to someone who had gone through the reconstruction surgery she was contemplating at the time. The idea popped into my head and I said to her, "Yeah, there should be some kind of online survivor database where you can connect with someone." I looked at her and thought, "Oh my god, is there such a thing?!" After many days of researching online and finding nothing, I decided to do something about it. And that is how Pink-Link was born!
The website, www.pink-link.org, launched in February 2006 and currently hosts the largest online survivor database in the country with over 3,800 members in all 50 states as well as internationally. It’s like a Match.com for breast cancer survivors! As a nonprofit, the website’s supportive services are free but to protect privacy and confidentiality, a women needs to "join" the community. A member can start their own blog, public to other members or private, as well as participate in the member’s forum. We also have 5 experts who run their own forum in nutrition, physical exercise, skin care, holistic health and lymphedema (a common side effect of breast cancer surgery). About 20% of our membership are caregivers, friends and family members who can connect with other caregivers to get support.
Before my diagnosis, I didn’t know anything about the breast cancer world. But after becoming a survivor myself, I turned my passion to helping others into something real and tangible, that helps women around the world!