Julie Karpinski

Julie Karpinski

Julie and her husband are the proud parents of two young boys, ages 4 and 5. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2009. At the age of 33, while breastfeeding her youngest child, she discovered a lump. Without a family history of breast cancer, she could have easily attributed it to the normal effects of breastfeeding. Fortunately, with a little insistence from her mother and a feeling inside that something was not right, she had it examined immediately. The tumor was 2.5 cm and had already spread to one lymph node. From day one, Julie made the decision to treat the disease as aggressively as possible. The most aggressive treatment meant a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node dissection and reconstruction, 16 rounds of chemotherapy, and 6 weeks of radiation. Although membership in the “survivor club” was not something she set out in life to attain, when faced with the opportunity, she chooses to join each and every day. Cancer has made her appreciate everything in life, every hug from her kids, every milestone her kids achieve (even the seemingly insignificant), and every day she has with her husband, family, and friends. Julie embraces life to the fullest and cherishes her 3-year cancer free survivorship.

She is participating to help increase awareness and understanding of breast cancer in young women. The theme of her chair is “Inspiration.” Support from friends and family, and strength from within, are embodied in the vibrant colors, active design, and inspirational words hand painted on the chair.