Diagnosed at 25: A Young Survivor’s Story


Living Beyond Breast Cancer and FemmePharma have partnered for our signature education and fundraising event Yoga on the Steps: Philadelphia! If you’re in the Philadelphia area on May 18th, register here to join LBBC, FemmePharma and various other exhibitors during our healthy living expo after the hour long yoga class supporting individuals with breast cancer! Today we learn about Katy Wagnon’s journey with breast cancer at the age of 25 and why a FemmePharma and LBBC partnership just makes sense…

Think about life in your 20s for a minute. It’s a decade of learning, growing, falling down and getting back up – often more than once. It’s a hopeful, exciting time when you’re just getting the hang of this crazy thing we call adulthood.


Katy Wagnon was a typical 25-year-old. At the time, she was living in Arizona with her boyfriend of four years. She had a steady job and was perfectly content with the life she’d created for herself.


When Katy discovered a lump on her breast in the shower, she initially brushed it off. Like any good procrastinator, she decided to wait it out to see if it went away on its own. Katy had a co-worker around her age who had been diagnosed with breast cancer six months earlier – but there was no way that’s what this was!


Still, Katy kept this thought in the back of her head. When the lump didn’t go away, she made a doctor’s appointment to have it checked out. A mammogram and a few biopsies later, Katy was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer.


The diagnosis on its own was a punch in the gut – adapting to life with cancer was another story altogether.


“All of my friends were in their 20s and couldn’t understand what I was going through,”Katy said. “They were going out to bars, and I was at home with my boyfriend, always in-between chemo and surgery.”

The first surgery Katy endured was supposed to clear everything out – but it didn’t. It turned out that the cancer was further along than her doctors initially suspected, and she would require chemotherapy.


So Katy got a second opinion. Then a third. She eventually landed on a doctor in Tucson that made her feel at ease. At the age of 25, Katy went through a double mastectomy, with her reconstruction beginning that same day.


Katy now thinks of her experience as a blessing in disguise. While it was difficult to relate to other 20-somethings, Katy found plenty of support in her parents, grandmother and her boyfriend who is now her husband.


“In the end, it turned out to be an awesome experience,”Katy said. “Nothing is too big of a challenge for me now because I’ve been to hell and back. For anyone who is going through it now, know that it will get better.”


As young women like Katy know all too well, finding support in the wake of such a diagnosis isn’t easy, and sometimes it can feel like you’re totally alone. But that simply isn’t true.


In fact, that’s why Femme Pharma exists. With the mission of improving the health and quality of life for women through superior therapeutics, Femme Pharma has your back – and the backs of millions of women like Katy nationwide.


Gerianne Tringali DiPiano founded the company in 1996 to better address women’s healthcare needs, specifically in the areas of diseases and disorders. Ever since then, the company has been an advocate for all women, working to develop new treatment methods that promote healing across a broad range of therapeutic categories. Today, Femme Pharma is the go-to women’s health resource and community.


FemmePharma is enthusiastic about working with the women of LBBC; since both organizations’ missions and visions are very much aligned. We share the passionate mission of improving the quality of life and understanding how to accomplish that goal for women survivors of breast cancer.


And Katy knows this better than anyone – she’s FemmePharma’s graphic designer!


For more information about FemmePharma, visit FemmePharma.com.

For more information about Yoga on the Steps: Philadelphia please visit www.yogaonthesteps.org/philadelphia! Also, consider liking FemmePharma on Facebook because from now until May 19th FemmePharma will donate $5 per Facebook like to Yoga on the Steps: Philadelphia! 


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