Stage4Lifer: Stories That Get to the Heart of Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Catherine L. Ormerod, MSS, MLSP, discusses our new #Stage4Lifer campaign and its importance as we head into Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Hear Their Voices. Raise Yours.

Over the next five days we will introduce you to an amazing group of women and men who will share their experiences living with metastatic breast cancer in our campaign, #Stage4Lifer. These women and men are members of our 2016 Hear My Voice program and work with us to help increase awareness of what Stage 4 breast cancer is and how it’s different.

They will be sharing stories that get to the heart of living with Stage 4 breast cancer – a breast cancer that very few understand and has no cure. They will share how Stage 4 disease has and has not changed them, challenged them, and why they have chosen to educate others by speaking their truths.


Catherine Ormerod with 2015 Hear My Voice Volunteers Ishiuan Hargrove, Sarita Jordan and Adrian McClenney at our 2015 metastatic breast cancer conference. Ishiuan, Sarita and Adrian passed away this year.

The name of this social media campaign is #Stage4Lifer. Admittedly a provocative title, it is a name inspired by a young Texas mother named Holley Kitchen, who created a simple, yet powerful video about how her breast cancer was different than early-stage breast cancer. She told people she would never be cured; instead she would live with the disease the best she could. That video went viral and her story educated and inspired hundreds of thousands. Holley called herself a cancer lifer. Holley died from Stage 4 breast cancer last year.

In honor of the approximate 155,000 American women and men living with Stage 4 breast cancer and the many more who have passed, we want to continue what Holley started and share more stories and deepen the understanding.

Here’s how you can help. From September 26 – 30, we will be sharing personal stories, facts and figures to help educate the public about Stage 4 breast cancer. Please share your story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #Stage4Lifer. Share and retweet our messages with others. Share the stories and facts, especially with those who believe breast cancer has a cure – it surely does not.

We cannot lead a campaign on the stories of those living with Stage 4 breast cancer, without recognizing the many incredible people who have passed away from this disease. We dedicate this campaign to members of our Hear My Voice program, who passed away this past year from metastatic breast cancer:

Adrian McClenney, Beth Montavlo, Heidi Dunnigan, Ishiuan Hargrove, Jean Burns, Jill Cohen, Jill Tyson, Marcia Taylor, Sarita Jordan.

We carry on the work they began. Join us by educating others, understanding and working toward a cure.

Learn more about #Stage4Lifer on LBBC.ORG.

Catherine L. Ormerod is the vice president of programs and partnerships at Living Beyond Breast Cancer.


2 thoughts on “Stage4Lifer: Stories That Get to the Heart of Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

  1. I lost my older sister to MBC on October26, 2015. I still can’t believe that she’s gone. She left 2 daughter, 3 granddaughters, and 1 grandson. I’m doing my best to be a good Aunt to all of them, but, of course, I will never be able to fill the hole in their hearts and lives. I wish she had chosen a different treatment route; in my mind, I feel that maybe some non-traditional treatment from “somewhere”…anywhere, might have let her live longer, or at least, let her feel better for the time she had left. I’m angry about mammograms and scans that weren’t read correctly, phone calls from doctors’ offices that should have been made but weren’t, and the attitude of doctors in California that “no other kind of treatment should be considered-chemo and radiation must be done”. I’m also terrified about my own health and the horrible possibilities and what ifs, the health of my daughter (who now has a breast cancer victim on both her Mother’s and Father’s side of the family, and about the health of my granddaughters, nieces, and great nieces. Also praying every day for a childhood friend of my daughter, who is in her late 30’s, with 5 children under 12, who “beat” breast cancer a year ago, but now has MBC. Such an awful disease. 💔😪🙏

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