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Katherine O'Brien

  • year of diagnosis: 2009
  • survivor years: 7 years
  • current city: LaGrange, IL
  • type of breast cancer: Stage IV, ER/PR+ HER-
  • profession: Editor

About Katherine


What is your idea of happiness?
A sunny day spent with family and friends far from everyday worries.
When and where were you happiest?
A child, Christmas Eve with my family; as an adult traveling with friends.
What is your biggest fear?
Running out of drug options to treat my metastatic breast cancer.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents for their selflessness. Patient advocate Shirley Mertz for her tireless dedication to improving outcomes for people with Stage IV breast cancer.
What do you most value in your friends?
Compassion and a good sense of humor — ongoing willingness to laugh at my jokes.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Being good at math.
What is your current state of mind?
What is your most treasured possession?
My mom’s sketchbooks.
How do you most like spending your time?
What do you most dislike?
It’s a tie: laundry, kale and getting the tartar scraped off my teeth.
In your own words, what would you say to inspire or encourage someone facing breast cancer right now?
You are not alone—there is a community of people living with metastatic breast cancer—we get it! We are here for our MBC sisters and brothers.
What is your favorite quote? This can be your own quote or words that you live by.
See everything. Overlook a great deal. Improve a little.
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