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My name is Christine Hodgdon and at the age of 34, I was diagnosed with de novo stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC). I endured all my treatments, which resulted in a complete response, and I currently have no evidence of active disease (NEAD) in my body. Even though I have NEAD, I am still a stage IV patient and always will be. I can never be “upgraded” to stage 1, 2, or 3 or even say that I’m in remission; I am merely “stable” for now. Every 6 months I am scanned to monitor any progression of my disease. I will be on treatment for life with monthly targeted therapy infusions every 3 weeks, as well as hormone therapy, to manage my MBC. You can read more about my story HERE.

Two years after my diagnosis, I wanted to get more involved in the MBC community and I decided to participate in a 2-day advocacy event on Capitol Hill in Washington DC with the organization, Metavivor. I had the opportunity to meet with my State senators and local representatives to express my support of increasing the NIH budget specifically to fund research on metastatic cancer.

A month later I attended a training to become a Hear My Voice (HMV) volunteer with the organization, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) in Philadelphia. The HMV program helps MBC patients become advocates in their local and digital communities. I then attended the LBBC’s conference specifically for MBC patients and I was instantly connected to hundreds of survivors, patients, and advocates.

See the full listing of training and breast cancer advocacy activities that I have been apart of below.

Trainings:

ANGEL Advocacy Program
Nov 2017
Tigerlily Foundation- Washington, DC

Hear My Voice Outreach Program
April 27-30, 2017
Living Beyond Breast Cancer- Philadelphia, PA

SurvivorLink Peer Mentoring Program
April 2017
Young Survival Coalition- New York, NY

Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: Guided Meditations
Aug 2016 – Jan 2017
Life with Cancer Center- Fairfax, VA

Advocacy:

Capitol Hill Stage IV Stampede Advocacy Event
Oct 12-13, 2017
METAvivor- Washington, DC

Die-in Protest
Oct 13, 2017; April 29, 2017
MET UP- Washington, DC; Philadephia, PA

Capitol Hill 2-Day Advocacy Event to House & Senate
April 4-5, 2017
METAvivor- Washington, DC

Clinical Trials:

Long-term Metastatic Cancer Survivor Survey
April 8, 2017
University of Wisconsin, Carbone Cancer Center- Madison, WI

Four Conversations Study
May 7, 2017
Duke Cancer Center- Durham, NC

Metastatic Breast Cancer Project
April 2017
Broad Institute- Cambridge, MA

ABOARD Study
July 2015
University of South Florida, Aetna, & Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

Volunteer Work:

Breast Cancer Helpline Volunteer
Living Beyond Breast Cancer- Philadelphia, PA
Ongoing

“No More What Ifs” Live Chat Co-Host
RevivAll Social Health Platform
Dec 2017

Contributions:

Interview for MY LIFE Podcast (not yet published)                                              Feb 22, 2018
Tigerlily Foundation- Washington DC

Interview about meditation practice for,  “Insights on Metastatic Breast Cancer
Dec 2017
Living Beyond Breast CancerPhiladelphia, PA

Blog submission
Dec 2017
Tigerlily Foundation- Washington DC

Article submission for #KnowStageIV campaign
Oct 2017
Living Beyond Breast Cancer- Philadelphia, PA

Article submission for #ItsAboutTimeMBC campaign
Oct 2017
It’s About Time

Picture submission for #InSixWords campaign
Sept 30, 2017
The Underbelly

Quote submission for the summer newsletter, “Insights on Metastatic Breast Cancer
Summer 2017
Living Beyond Breast Cancer- Philadelphia, PA

Article submission for 2017 summer newsletter
Summer 2017
Twisted Pink- Louisville, KY

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