Coleen Kirnan Friedmann



My daughter Hayley had just turned 10 and her brother, Sean, was 9 when I was diagnosed. I didn’t tell the children immediately because they were so young. I had so many new decisions  to make: Chemo? Radiation? Both? Mastectomy? Lumpectomy? Which surgeon? Which oncologist? Which radiologist (and what is a radiologist?)? Tamoxifen? Aromatase inhibitors?


It was a whole new language to learn, and I wanted to have answers before my wonderful, rock of a husband and I had that hard conversation with our children. Once I knew I didn’t need chemo, I started silently scheming. There was a small, quiet part of me that said, “Hmmm, I could pull this off without telling anyone. I could do it. I have no visible scars.”


Not to  have to tell anyone, the  public, my employees, my clients, my neighbors… not have to have those difficult  conversations… to see the pity, the fear, the stigma, the label, the judging… I could keep it a secret. I could  pull this off. No one would know.


What would you do? Or, I should say, what will you do? This beast will affect you in some form, someday. Will you hide it? Keep it in the closet? Stay silent? No.


You yell, “Game on!” And you fight, you stay loud, you raise your voice, you raise money, you raise awareness and you find a cure. Thank you, Susan G Komen, for staying very, very loud and giving us all a place to raise our voice. I am Susan G Komen.