Silver Lining: Cancer was the Best Worst Thing that Ever Happened to Me

by Kommah McDowell

Kommah McDowell currently serves as a National Patient Speaker for City of Hope, a Comprehensive Cancer Research Institute in Duarte, CA. She also sits on the board for Breast Cancer Solutions, a local Orange County organization that provides financial assistance to breast cancer patients in treatment. She began her national speaking career after her diagnosis of Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer 15 years ago. Before stepping into the national spotlight, Kommah was Founder and Executive Director of Kommah Seray Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation (KSIBCF). Through KSIBCF, Kommah and her team served thousands of families by providing financial relief to ensure the continuation of treatment and the stability of families.  She is consistently pushing the platform for patient centered care, owning one’s voice and shattering fear through perseverance to ignite a cognitive paradigm shift toward possible impossibles.

Visit her website: KommahMcDowell.com and follow her on Facebook and  Instagram.

The Dog Lived (and So Will I)

by Teresa Rhyne

Teresa Rhyne is a lawyer and #1 New York Times bestselling author who loves wine, books, coffee and dogs. Teresa has lived in Southern California her entire life, but only recently has she lived in any one house longer than five years-a house she shares with her boyfriend and stellar caregiver Chris and their irrepressible, diabolically cute beagles.

In 2005, Teresa Rhyne had a new boyfriend, new dog, and a new outlook on life. But shortly after she adopted Seamus, a totally incorrigible beagle, Teresa was told he had a malignant tumor and less than a year to live. The diagnosis came as a devastating blow to Teresa, forcing her to learn everything about the treatment. She couldn’t have possibly known then that she was preparing herself for life’s next hurdle – a cancer diagnosis of her own.

Following Seamus’s lead, she forged ahead with survival... learning a few things about love as well.

Visit her website: teresarhyne.com

Handle with Care

by Carrie Madrid & Margaret Lesh

Carrie Madrid, born in San Francisco and currently residing in Southern California, is the Co-Founder and President of The CARE Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Riverside, California. In 2012, Carrie was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer after just turning 41 years old. She has endured many surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and life-threatening complications of reconstruction. Out of her diagnosis The CARE Project was born and has been in existence since 2013. Carrie now shares her story with others through public speaking engagements, social media, her own podcast, Handle With CARE; Breast Cancer and Beyond and now the book, Handle With Care, co-created with Author Margaret Lesh and a "Hive" of fellow cancer survivors. When asked what it feels like to be a cancer survivor, Carrie always replies, "It is ironic I now hold the title of Survivor. Before cancer, I was simply surviving life and now I'm truly living a life with purpose." 

For more information on The CARE Project, Inc., visit www.thecareprojectinc.org  

Margaret Lesh is the author of her memoirs Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares and the Young Adult novels Normalish and My Friends Are All Strange, among others. Most recently, she teamed with Carrie Madrid, co-founder of nonprofit The Care Project, Inc., and a "Hive" of breast cancer survivors and thrivers to create Handle With Care: Your Breast Cancer Support Group in a Book, With Wisdom from the Hive Mind. Her short stories have appeared in The Brasilia Review, and Dust Jacket Journal.

Like Bill and Ted, she believes we should be excellent to each other. Also: Tacos are magic.

Visit her website: margaretlesh.com, follow her on Twitter @margaretlesh, or like her author page on Facebook.