Meet Wendy McCoole, a breast cancer survivor and activist.
Wendy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 at the age of 42 … the same age her mother, Joanne Dodge, was initially diagnosed. Unfortunately, Wendy’s mother lost her 4th battle with breast cancer in February 2012.
Shortly after Wendy completed her treatments in 2004, she founded the non-profit organization BreastCancerStories– an online story-sharing site where people going through treatment can stay in touch with loved ones and connect with other patients who are going through (or have gone through) a similar experience.
The site was not only inspired by her mother who was true breast cancer support activist, but also by the reaction Wendy received to her own online journal affectionately nicknamed “Bald Wendy.”
In her online journal,Wendy shared candid thoughts about how she was feeling physically and emotionally, and displayed photos of her head being shaved in preparation for chemo, her chemo team at the cancer center, and even photos of her nieces and nephew painting her head like an Easter egg.
To her surprise the site was shared by hundreds of people, many of whom she didn’t know but who thanked her for honestly and candidly telling her story online. It helped them to not feel so alone.
In 2011, our organization decided to focus its efforts on helping local patients by launching a new initiative called My Breast Cancer Support. Since then the organization has helped hundreds of patients throughout the Greater Seacoast NH/ME area to stay on a path toward wellness.