WHEN BREAST CANCER BECAME A PART OF BRENDA COFFEE’S LIFE STORY, SHE DECIDED IT WOULD NOT BE IN HER LAST CHAPTER. Instead, the Trinity University graduate decided she would be the protagonist in her own narrative about survivorship and advocacy for a cure. She founded the Survivorship Media Network LLC and BreastCancerSisterhood.com, a place for women and their families to learn about the disease, how to fight it and help others to live.
“Hearing the words, “You have cancer,’ is one of the most frightening, life-threatening things you’ll ever experience,” says Coffee, who runs the award-winning site from Boerne. “From that moment on, your world is colored by the fact that you have cancer.”
The site helps to empower and provide comfort by connecting users through their common experience.
“Think about being dropped in a war zone, and you don’t speak the language or know any of the people,” she says. “It would be imperative to find someone you can trust to help you, a matter of survival. Having cancer is like being in a war zone, and you are battling for your life.”
The site has become her ministry. “I know it sounds strange, but I sometimes feel like breast cancer was a gift from God. My life is so much richer for having walked this path, and for that, I am truly grateful.”—R. Benavidez