My name is Cati Diamond Stone, and I’m a recovering lawyer. I am also the Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta. Believe it or not, these two things are related.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I was 35, in good shape, and I had no history of breast cancer in my family. My treatment included 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, 6 weeks of radiation and numerous reconstruction surgeries. I was able to work essentially full-time as a litigation attorney during my treatment, and I learned quickly that a bald girl can be very effective in settling cases. But when I realized I was going to survive my battle with breast cancer, I also realized that I wanted to do more with my life – both personally and professionally.
When I finished my treatment, I left my job to pursue a career helping others battling cancer. But I did not want just any job. I wanted to work for Susan G. Komen because Komen and its amazing supporters saved my life. While that might seem like quite an extraordinary statement, it is true.
I had a very aggressive type of breast cancer known as Her2. Not very long ago, women with my diagnosis did not survive. But thanks to a drug called Herceptin that was made possible through funding from Komen, I survived.
At Komen Atlanta, I now work to enable other women to detect and survive this disease. And thanks to support from great companies like Agile and great supporters like Tricia Dempsey, I know we will ultimately find a cure.