While Kristen Noles was waiting for her biopsy results, her mother, Madeline Harris, who is an oncology nurse told her, "not to worry". Days later, Kristen learned she had invasive ductal and lobular breast cancer.
Soon she embarked on aggressive chemotherapy and radiation followed by a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Kristen kept working throughout her treatment. She had chemo and would be back to work on Monday. Kristen even completed graduate studies while in treatment.
Over time, Madeline and Kristen asked, "How can we use this to further our understanding of what it's like to be the family member of a patient?"
So this is what they accomplished in the five years since Kristen's diagnosis!
Kristen became a co-founder of the Courage Network, a grassroots program made up of University of Alabama at Birmingham staff who help to support other employees facing breast cancer.
Kristen's mom, Madeline Harris, while working as the director of Birmingham's Women's Breast Health Fund, has awarded more than 1.3 million dollars to nonprofits since 2009 to provide services to breast cancer survivors and their families.
Kristen's diagnosis made this mother and daughter pair of nurses even more determined to make cancer patients' lives as fulfilled as possible.
Click on the link below to read more about this story in an article published in Parade magazine.
Best wishes to Kristen and her Mom. Bravo to both of you.
With thanks for all you do!