Celebrating Survival: Young women who battled breast cancer band together


by Chelsea Rabideau


Posted on February 16, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 16 at 1:01 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A breast cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. But, young women battling the disease face a unique set of challenges and they’re banding together to lessen the blow.

Breast cancer might not seem like something to dance about, but the Young Survivors Foundation is celebrating that common bond that brought them together.

“It’s good to know that now that we have this group that I know all these women who know what I’m going through. And, if I’m scared about going to an appointment or just had a great one, we can all lean on each other,” president of the group Megan Schanie said, “I made a lot of good friends through the group too.”

Schanie was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago; she was just 31-years-old.

“In my case, I had a one and a half year old and a three year old at home and happened to find a lump in my own breast,” Schanie said. It was the catalyst for forming the support group at the Norton Cancer Institute.

This event is their one shot to make money to support the group for the entire year. The group has become a pillar of strength for these women, forced to balance motherhood, a career, and chemotherapy. Rachael Koontz found out she had cancer while she was pregnant with her first son.

“It’s really challenging to go through treatment and just face the mental battles as well as try to take care of your children and your home,” Koontz said.

The support group has become a source of hope for the future. “We want to expand our family,” Koontz said, “So seeing other women who had gone on after treatment to have babies and everything was wonderful.”

This fundraising event usually brings in about $10,000 every year.

Click here for more information on the Young Survivors group.