When you’re facing breast cancer, talking to someone who’s been there can really help.
The Contact a Survivor Website Program allows breast cancer patients to connect with trained cancer survivor volunteers online. This program is especially important for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer, but anyone can utilize this program. All emails received are kept confidential. Our trained volunteers respond to emails and provide comfort and personalized support during critical times, as well as providing information and resources available to breast cancer patients and to their caregivers, spouses, children, family and friends here in Berks County. *
If you would like to talk with someone who truly understands your struggle and has “been there before”, please read the following volunteer profiles and choose the one whose experience best matches your question or situation.
*all information is non-medical.
Occupation: Field Service Operations Manager Hobbies/Interests: Travel, biking, spending time with family and friends. My Story: I live in Sinking Spring with my husband and daughter (currently attending the University of Pittsburgh). I was diagnosed in April 2003 at the age of 34 with Stage I, Grade 3, invasive ductal carcinoma. I received four rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. At the time of diagnosis, Breast Cancer Support Services was there to support me, and I am truly thankful. Email Colleen
Hobbies/interests: Volunteering at BCSS and the Rotary Club of Muhlenberg. My Story: I live in Reading/Muhlenberg area. My family and friends come first in my life. I was diagnosed in November 2013. A few weeks later I had a bi-lateral mastectomy. Next came chemo, and a month after chemo was completed I had reconstruction. I saw that BCSS was having an Open House, (when I was still going through chemo) so I decided to check it out. “I was bald, scared and not sure why I was going but I knew I needed something - just didn’t know what. I found people that knew what I was going through.” I have been volunteering at BCSS ever since. Email Terri
Occupation: Social Media & Marketing Coordinator at Breast Cancer Support Services; Independent Travel Agent - MainStreet Travel Hobbies/interests: I love crafting and spending time with my family. My Story: I live in Lebanon with my husband and three children, two which are still at home. In April 2016, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed Stage 4 de Novo, ER/PR+ Her- with metastasis to my liver. I received ten rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. I've also had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. My first experience with BCSS was through their Newly Diagnosed Support Group and continued to visit some of the other support groups. I then began volunteering at BCSS in 2017 and have been employed by BCSS since May 2019. In addition to BCSS, I am also a Face2Face Coordinator and a PA State Leader for Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and an Ambassador for METAvivor. You will find me facilitating both of these support groups. Email Vanessa
Occupation: Organist at Alsace Lutheran Church and Clerical Assistant for J. Mikulsky Railway Supply Co. My story: I am 62 years old and I live in Exeter Township with my husband and daughter. My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter live an hour away. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 DCIS in August 2015. I had a stereotactic needle biopsy, sentinel node biopsy and lumpectomy that August. I also had six weeks of radiation (5 days a week). I also developed Level One Lymphedema in my right arm and hand. I have been the Organist Alsace Lutheran Church for 27 years. I also work as a clerical assistant for J. Mikulsky Railway Supply Co., Inc. I retired from Reading School District where I was the Junior High/ Middle School Choral and General Music Educator. I have found BCSS to be a great source for information, comfort and healing! Not to mention, I have met some inspiring and wonderful friends! Email me if you would like to talk! Email Nina
Occupation: Executive Director-Habitats of Hope, LLC Certified Recovery Specialist Certified Family Recovery Specialist, Certified Intervention Professional Hobbies/interests: Golfing and spending time with family. My Story: In 2006 I was speaking with my sister about some chest pains and that my PCP ran all the cardiology tests and found all was good there. She suggested that I check my breasts for lumps as we had lost an Uncle to cancer and his primary site was breast cancer that had metastasized and spread to his lungs, and sure enough there it was! I went to a surgeon and he found it with an Ultrasound. Upon removal is was non-malignant but within 6 months there was another and that one proved different! After removal and 19 courses of radiation, I have been cancer free since! He attributed it all to me checking for lumps and finding it so quickly and early! Men get breast cancer too! I proudly wear pink for BC awareness! Email Sam