Katie was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer when she was just 20 years old and a junior at UW-Milwaukee. She was afraid for her health and for her future. “I was so confused when I was first diagnosed and one thing I really wanted to do was to talk to someone else who had been where I was at.” “After doing some research and finding statistics of young breast cancer survival rates I decided I was not going to let numbers define my life. It is easy to get caught up in the research and compare yourself to others but one thing I have learned is that everyone is different . . . you have to trust your instinct.” Her biggest worry then became treatment interfering with school. After several doctor’s appointments she found the best doctors for her and she was ready to fight. She had a lumpectomy over spring break and a mastectomy with reconstruction and aggressive chemotherapy over summer. Katie used art work and creativity as part of her healing during treatment. When she heard of the Rare Chair Affair she thought it would be a good way to “wrap up my journey of my cancer treatment and give back to the breast cancer community.” Through her experience with breast cancer Katie has learned that she is a very determined person and has more self confidence. She is willing to take risks and fight for what she feels is truly important. Katie feels fortunate to have a loving family, a supportive boyfriend and kind friends who stayed by her side through all the ups and downs.
Katie’s Chair: Tulip Intuition
My chair came to be a tulip chair because of my intuition. When I found the chair I could not deny the fact that it just looked like a tulip. I used the back of the chair to represent the sky. The back is a gorgeous blue sky with fluffy clouds and the front is the sun. A yellow and orange boa was used to represent the rays and to add a little spunk. I wanted the tulip head to stand out the most so I used a variety of colors to make it pop. The main goal of the chair was for it to be a beautiful piece art and yet remain functional and comfortable.