Stephanie Harshburger

Diagnosed at age 38, this Racine native is passionate about her breast cancer fight.

“I fought hard to be a survivor and would like to be able to express my story through painting a chair for a great cause. It is almost like closing the chapter of a story. I was able to fight to become a survivor and then close the chapter by having a chair auctioned off. It is like saying good-bye to cancer once the chair is gone.”

Having breast cancer was overwhelming and life-changing, but since her diagnosis, Stephanie thinks about life this way:

“I think of my life as ever-changing. I am doing more now than I did before my diagnosis as far as activities. I am currently training for the Team Phoenix (cancer survivor) triathlon, something that I would never have done pre- cancer diagnosis. I think of my life as a gift, something precious that I never thought could be taken away from me so quickly. I have decided to make a career change, to help people with their cancer diagnosis. I plan on going to nursing school.”

Stephanie would like to see mammograms made available to younger women. “Given the hormones in foods, and family histories, early detection will save lives, as it did mine. Although I found the lump myself, I do have a history of breast cancer in my family. Maybe an early mammogram would have found the lump before I did.”

She also is in favor of more genetic research.