In 2007, Snow moved into oncology when it trained its first group of breast cancer Patient Ambassadors. While public awareness of breast cancer advocacy was at an all-time high, there were real questions about how the Patient Ambassador model would work in oncology. The answer: it worked beautifully, as was shown by one woman whose story served up hope and inspiration along with a wicked sense of humor…

By 2006, Nancy had spent 20 years working 60-hour weeks and traveling constantly. But her “hamster wheel life” came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, osteoporosis, and congestive heart failure, each within months of one another. In its place came endless days of preparing for, undergoing, and recovering from surgery, chemo, and radiation.

Just as the worst of her treatment came to a close, Nancy was invited to become a Patient Ambassador. Sharing her story—with all the highs, lows, and yes, even laughter—gave Nancy a purpose and a healthy transition to her new life. In the years that followed, her story showed that it’s possible to live a full life after a cancer diagnosis.

Now, 15+ years after her cancer diagnosis, Nancy is thriving. While she’s had her health challenges, she still swims six hours a week and volunteers for her local health system by doing vigil and palliative care work. She’s even looking forward to going on a photo safari in 2022. Until then, she’s filling her free time with quilting, crafts, a book club, and spending time with family and friends. Not bad for a great-grandmother!

While she would never wish cancer on anyone, Nancy can honestly say she was glad it happened to her. Her journey taught her how to live and had a profound effect on all her choices and relationships that followed.

“I met the most talented, caring people within Snow and among my fellow Ambassadors and Genentech. I felt I made a small difference in talking to other patients and caregivers and letting them see that cancer can be the beginning of something remarkable.”  – Nancy