About Our Founder
When I got my breast cancer diagnosis at age 43, I was stunned, confused, and even a little ashamed. Had I done something to bring this upon myself? It was 2018 and I had settled into a break from a big-city corporate career. After a friendly nudge from my OBGYN, I scheduled the mammogram I’d been putting off, figuring it would be routine and no big deal. Well, it wasn’t routine, and it was a big deal. My doctors found an 8cm pattern of precancerous calcifications called DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). After a few more tests and a biopsy, it was confirmed: I had Stage 0 breast cancer. F—k. Really?
I spent the next several weeks reading books about battling breast cancer, adopting a new cancer-fighting diet and seeking support from my inner circle. I researched my options for reconstruction, selected my medical team and froze my eggs. My doctors reassured me that as long as I had surgery within two months, I’d be fine. But by the time I had surgery, the cancer spread. It was in two lymph nodes and I was now Stage 2. Double f—k.
Before I knew it, I was doing four rounds of chemo and 28 sessions of radiation. I did scalp cooling therapy to try and keep my hair. Fortunately, the chemo worked, but I still lost my hair. Between my balding scalp and my new chemo-induced wrinkles, I didn’t recognize myself. I felt ugly and robbed of my femininity. I tried to put vanity aside. I told myself that it was “just hair” that would grow back. In the meantime, I searched incessantly for stylish hair accessories, scarves, hats and wigs to get me by.
As my treatment progressed, I read up on prevention tactics and factors that heighten women’s risks, like sustained stress, certain chemicals in beauty products, lack of sleep, failing to breastfeed before age 40, the list goes on! I grew frustrated. Why was I just learning about this now?! I began making some major lifestyle overhauls. These choices gave me a sense of power, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wished I’d known this before.
The next 18 months were filled with some ups, downs, and a single idea. After my final surgery, and my hair grew back, I felt more motivated than ever. I was grateful to have had the time and resources to focus on my mental and physical health during my breast cancer journey — and I had to pay it forward.
So I created Stage to empower women with everything they need to take on breast cancer with confidence, style and support. It’s a “one-stop shop” featuring everything from cool hair accessories, cozy loungewear, and luxe self-care, to home goods and gifts. It’s our passion to arm women with inspiring stories, treatment tips, lifestyle hacks and a community to connect with. We take endless information, Internet black holes, burning questions and shopping lists and curate exactly what you need on your journey so that you can focus on what really matters — beating this thing.
With love, kindness and a bit of sass,