006: Emily Hopper

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Episode 6 of the Intersection of Cancer and Life features Emily Hopper, the mama, artist, advocate, and breast cancer survivor behind alternative breast cancer awareness apparel brand, EMPOWERHAUS. She is also the founder of Flatties Unite, the popular Facebook group for women living with fewer than 2 breasts. Emily was diagnosed with stage III triple negative breast cancer at 31 years old, after being misdiagnosed 14 months earlier. Emily has recently completed 13 rounds of IV chemo, a double mastectomy with flat reconstruction, 30 rounds of radiation, and 8 cycles of oral chemotherapy and lives in Wisconsin with her husband and young daughter.

Emily and I talked a lot about the challenges of navigating a breast cancer diagnosis with young children, as well as the recent publicity surrounding the flat community, both from Catherine Guthrie's new book FLAT: Reclaiming my Body after Breast Cancer, and an article featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine detailing the rampant sexism in breast reconstruction decisions

As a special gift to listeners, EMPOWERHAUS is offering 15% off with the code EMPOWER15 - orders need to be in by November 30th in order to assure delivery in time for Christmas.


You can find Emily on social media here:


Website: www.empowerhaus.co

Instagram: @empowerhaus

Twitter: @empowerhausco

Facebook: @empowerhausco

Flatties Unite:

Facebook Group: Flatties Unite

Instagram: @flattiesunite

Twitter: @flattiesunite


Website: Mrs. Emily Hopper

Instagram: @mrsemilyhopper

Twitter: @mrsemilyhopper


005: Racheli Alkobey (Radiant Racheli)

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On this episode, we talk with Radiant Racheli Alkoby, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 21, during her senior year of college. After her diagnosis, she started video blogging under the handle Radiant Racheli and recorded her entire diagnosis and treatment journey in it's most raw form. In her videos, she laughs, she dances, she cries and, most importantly, she maintains her mantra: "everything is going to be okay." Racheli endured 12 rounds of chemo and endured some harsh complications, including blood clots in her lungs and chronic lung toxicity due to one of her chemo treatment regimens. Racheli has continued to be an advocate for young adults with cancer for the last 2.5 years since she finished treatment. In addition, she is a newlywed, having gotten married in March of 2018.

You can find Radiant Racheli on social media here: 

Facebook - @radiantracheli
Instagram - @radiantrachel 
Youtube - Racheli Alkobey

Lymphoma News Today Article



004: Robin Browne (stage IV breast cancer survivor and co-host of the podcast “That’s the Spirit”)



Robin Browne is 31 years old and is a stage IV breast cancer survivor and a regular contributor to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls website. She's also the co-host of the podcast “That’s the Spirit” and is fascinated by all things spooky and dark. She has one cat and can usually be found watching reality TV in bed.

Robin currently partners with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to assist with fundraising efforts: www.bcrf.org

Her writing for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website can be found here: @robinmbrowne

Robin's Podcast, "That's the Spirit" can be found on SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts

Twitter: @robinmbrowne

Instagram: @robinmbrowne


003: Marianne Duquette Cuozzo (artist, mother, three-time cancer survivor)

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Marianne Duquette Cuozzo is an artist, mother, three-time cancer survivor, and most of all, a dreamer! 

Marianne was first diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 28, as a newlywed, and was told that she could never have children. She felt very alone, as this was before the internet, and she knew no one with cancer. Her entire life, including her decorative painting business, was put on hold for treatment, and slowly, as she began to reclaim her life after treatment, she had a Lymphoma recurrence again at age 32.

She was treated with chemotherapy and joined a support group of other young people undergoing cancer treatment at the time. A number of years later, she was given the go-ahead to try to have a child, and her miracle baby, Leonardo, was born. He is now a freshman in college. In 2014, Marianne was diagnosed with breast cancer, a side effect of the mantle radiation she underwent in 1994 as part of her Lymphoma treatment.

She underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction and chemotherapy, but after six infections, her implants failed and had to be removed. she is currently living flat, and has been a tremendous force for breast cancer advocacy, and for the flat movement in particular, and has found tremendous therapy and blessing in her art. 

In Memoriam - Maggie Van Duyn

Website:  www.marianneduquettecuozzo.com

Facebook: Marianne DuQuette Cuozzo Artist

Instagram: @Marianneduquettecuozzo9128

I Am Whole Documentary

New York Times Article - Going Flat

Breast Cancer Art Project

CBS Sunday Morning - Going Flat

NBC With Joan Lunden - Meet 3 women who decided against breast reconstruction after mastectomies


LymphaDivas HOPE Sleeve, designed by Marianne, to benefit METAvivor and Metastatic Breast Cancer Research


In Memoriam - Maggie Van Duyn


Very shortly after I was diagnosed, I had the privilege to meet someone who has had a tremendous impact on me - the unparalleled Maggie Van Duyn. She also had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and was just a force of nature - someone who always had huge ideas and who seemed to create both time and energy out of thin air. I have never encountered someone with such an unstoppable positive attitude, who could make lemonade out of the most sour, bitter lemons. 

Maggie quite literally made a business out of her positivity, drive, and generous spirit. She registered her blog, Maggie’s Bright Side, as a nonprofit, and developed a cancer card. Yes, a cancer card - called Maggie’s Card, available for anyone living with cancer in her hometown of Richmond, Vermont, the cancer card provided discounts and services to those dealing with cancer. Maggie’s life is defined by the enormous generosity of her spirit. someone once said to me that life with metastatic breast cancer is the worst club that has the best members. I was devastated to learn that this club lost an incredible member on Sunday, October 21st. Maggie was one of the first people I talked to about this podcast, and eagerly agreed to be a guest on the show. Unfortunately, her health precluded us from recording our conversation, and while i will never be able to do that conversation justice, I would feel remiss if I did not recognize her life and her mission here on this show. 

I ask that, in Maggie’s honor, you go to her website: www.maggiesbrightside.com and consider making a donation to her organization, so that it can continue to make a difference in the lives of so many, and that Maggie’s legacy can continue on for a very long time. Maggie, you are the epitome of squeezing a lifetime of work into a few short years. The world is a better place because of the work you have done. You will not be forgotten. 

-Emily Garnett


002: Justin Birckbichler (men’s health activist, a testicular cancer survivor, and the founder of aBallsySenseofTumor.com)

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Justin Birckbichler is a men’s health activist, a testicular cancer survivor, and the founder of aBallsySenseofTumor.com. From being diagnosed in November 2016 at the age of 25 to finishing chemo in January 2017, to being cleared in remission in March, he has been passionate about sharing his story to spread awareness about testicular cancer and promote open conversation about men's health.

His work with the awareness of men's health has been featured by Healthline, Ball Boys, and various other organizations. In 2017, ABSOT won an award for the Best Advocacy and Awareness Cancer Blog in 2017 and Justin was recognized as one of 15 People Who Raised Cancer Awareness in 2017. In 2018, Justin was selected as a finalist in the Hilarious Patient Leader Category in the 2018 WEGO Health Awards.

C 101 Health Ed video for high school students

Survey about testicular cancer self-exams

How to do a self-exam


Find Justin online at:

Blog - http://www.aballsysenseoftumor.com/ 

Instagram - https://instagram.com/aballsysenseoftumor/ 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/absotTC 

Facebook - http://facebook.com/aballsysenseoftumor 

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JTY6aXRGRRwPFAxoxJuzg 

Email - justin@aballsysenseoftumor.com


001: Nora McMahon (founder of Cancer Grad)

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Nora was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 39 years old in March of 2015. After undergoing a hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and debulking surgery, she endured 4 months of aggressive chemo. Nora founded Cancer Grad, an online platform for young adults with cancer to share their stories and unique perspectives surrounding their diagnoses.

Find Nora online at:

Cancer Grad website

Cancer Grad Facebook Group

Instagram - @CancerGrad