real women real stories

Linda Urbanski

For Nearly a Year, Doctor’s Dismissed My Bladder Cancer Symptoms as UTIs

In my bladder cancer advocacy work, I see many other women overlooked by medical professionals


After Being Sexually Assaulted, I Started Taking PrEP — and I Plan to Be on It for Life

I encourage everyone to embrace the HIV-preventive medication, no matter their sexual orientation

Schern Yung on the beach

My OB-GYN Told Me It Was Nothing to Worry About — But It Ended Up Being Ovarian Cancer

Fortunately, I wound up with a supportive team of healthcare providers who helped me get well

Aidee Granados

Culture Shock, Then a Cancer Shock, Inspired Me to Create the Community I Needed

As a young mom and recent immigrant to the United States, I thought my life was moving and changing quickly — but cancer was moving even faster

Diana Brown

Doctors Told Me It Was Just Perimenopause. It Turned Out to Be Uterine Fibroids.

I wasn’t taken seriously until I developed symptoms of organ failure

Rachel Cohen

A Doctor Talked Me into Getting a Hysterectomy to Cure My Endometriosis. She Was Wrong.

I wish doctors had listened to me, and I wish I’d known to advocate for myself

Tara Mulder

Living with Ovarian Cancer Was Tough, but the Lessons I Learned Led to Lasting Joy and Clarity

I learned how amazing collaborative doctors can be and I was able to prioritize what makes me happy

Alyssa Elaskari

My Uterine Fibroids Make Partner Intimacy and Honoring My Religion Challenging, But I’ve Found Ways to Cope

Though long, heavy and painful periods affect my daily life and prayer rituals, I still find the beauty of God’s mercy in the everyday

Pooja Mehta

I’ve Learned to Be Open About My Mental Illness to Help Bring Awareness in the Indian Community

After years of living in shame, I’m now a mental health advocate who embraces her culture and identity

Carole Motycka

I Walked into the ER with a Shoulder Injury — I Left with a Colon Cancer Diagnosis and 6 Months to Live

As a colon cancer survivor turned advocate, I see the role luck, self-advocacy and privilege played in my diagnosis and treatment

Lauren Wilson

Losing Many Women in My Family to Dementia Inspired Me to Donate My Brain to Science

I hope more of us will donate their brains science to help improve medical understanding of this complex organ

photo Jocelyn Apodaca Schlossberg

I Grew Up Thinking I Was Immune to Skin Cancer Based on My Ethnicity. I Was Wrong.

As a young melanoma survivor of color, I advocate for awareness and sun protection for everyone

photo Jocelyn Apodaca Schlossberg

Crecí pensando que era inmune al cáncer de piel por mi etnia. Estaba equivocada.

Puesto que soy una joven sobreviviente de melanoma de color, promuevo la concientización y la protección solar para todos

Bee Velasquez

I Was Diagnosed with HIV When I Was 15. It’s Been a Journey of Learning to Love Myself Enough to Take My Meds.

It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized I needed to put myself — and my health — first

Nina Martinez

I Was the First Living Kidney Donor with HIV

Thanks to access to good treatment, I’ve remained healthy enough to be able to extend the life of another HIV-positive person

Sadness of a woman in the dark

My Melanoma Was Dismissed as an Inflamed Hair Follicle

As a young woman of color, I was seemingly the last person who would be struck by the potentially lethal skin cancer

Susan Smedley

Surviving Lung Cancer Helped Me Embrace the Connection Between Body and Mind

I now own a yoga studio and help other cancer patients and survivors cope

Adrienne Moore

My Endometrial Cancer Was Dismissed as Fibroids

My symptoms were ignored for more than a year despite having a personal and family history of cancer

Adrienne Moore

Descartaron mi cáncer endometrial porque lo confundieron con fibromas

Ignoraron mis síntomas durante más de un año a pesar de tener antecedentes personales y familiares de cáncer

Alyssa Zeldenrust standing in a body of water, uses an Ostomy Bag Because of Crohn's Disease

I Use an Ostomy Bag Because of Crohn's Disease — And It’s Actually Not That Big of a Deal

People are often freaked out by the idea of ostomy bags, but I embrace mine

Twin sisters Joy Thomas and Jenelle Landgraf are standing next to each other in front of a body of water and nature.

Going Blind Has Its Challenges, But It’s Not as Scary as You May Think

Grief is a big part of vision loss, but what’s been hardest for us are the stigmas about blindness

Marnie Goodfriend

Rape Is a Lifelong Condition — But It No Longer Defines Me

Focusing on self-care and self-love helped me rebuild my identity

photo of crystal jackson standing in an outdoor hallway

My Struggle with Period Poverty Motivated Me to Help Other Women

Period poverty is a global crisis, and I’m doing what I can to help women access period products

Jessica Goddard

A Perfect Storm Migraine Attack Revealed the Limits of My “Push Through the Pain” Philosophy

Telling myself I can handle everything suddenly meant I couldn’t handle anything