Meet the Models!
Age at Diagnosis: 30
Lindsay is an introvert by nature, so deciding to model for Art Bra® in 2019 was really stepping out of her comfort zone. She was so nervous the day of the show that she even brought a bag of stuff to keep her mind occupied before walking the runway! It turned out to be completely unnecessary, as, within minutes of arriving, she’d already met about 15 other BCRC clients, and they began bonding over shared experiences. She realizes that BCRC has made a huge difference in her life and the breast cancer community. BCRC provided her with a support system through the network of women she has bonded with and by giving her information and resources when she needed it most. Lindsay moved to Austin 11 years ago from the Midwest and knew no one. Now, she’s met some of her closest friends and has a built-in family locally. Since being diagnosed at age 30, she has learned to harness her fear and anxiety and put that energy to good use. Lindsay says a big part of that was volunteering to do Art Bra® Austin and putting herself out there for the world to see!
Age at Diagnosis: 37
Erica is outgoing, spontaneous and loves traveling, meeting new people, and trying new things. She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, but she has not let that hold her back from living life. She is continually trying to improve herself and has been attending college to complete her degree in business administration. Even with everything she has going on, Erica wants to do whatever she can to give back to BCRC. She fully understands the emotional roller coaster that a breast cancer diagnosis is and knows how important this organization is to guide women through it. She is determined to do what she can to make sure Art Bra® Austin is a fundraising success so that BCRC can provide the support and resources that are so needed in the breast cancer community. Erica’s goal is to live life to the fullest and visit over 90% of the countries in the world in the process!
Age at Diagnosis: 38
Jonelle was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 23, 2019, and met BCRC patient navigator Elaine that very day. When Jonelle started chemotherapy, Elaine had a gift bag dropped off for her. Every day throughout her treatment, Elaine was in constant contact with Jonelle, helping her prepare for her bilateral mastectomy. Elaine’s friendship and the expertise of her doctors helped Jonelle walk right through treatment with grace and joy. A once modest, shy woman, the exposure to a surgeon’s table changed everything. Today, Jonelle thinks of herself as a jaguar, representing valor, ferocity, and an enchanting combination of beauty and ability. Art Bra® has given Jonelle the opportunity to embrace the new and dramatic changes to her body and to go out and show her peers and community that she is truly transformed. Like the jaguar that represents the power to face one's own fears, Jonelle embodied that as she healed through cancer and shined a light on the darkest of days.
Age at Diagnosis: 47
Lori is a mother of three beautiful children and a grandmother to a spunky little girl. Having support from BCRC drives her to fight through her survivorship and has helped her to learn how to live with metastatic breast cancer. At the time of being diagnosed, she felt like she was hit by a tsunami that was washing away who she was. Being forced to take care of herself instead of always putting others first was a huge challenge. Now, she has a new lease on life and has learned to focus more on her own happiness by living each day a moment at a time and taking nothing for granted. Lori has also opened herself up to change, growth, and all the things she didn’t think she deserved. Shedding the old skin has been hard, but having a glimpse at what she is morphing into is completely worth the fight.
Age at Diagnosis: 48
Danyelle received her initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2018 and underwent the flood of emotions that comes along with such news. She reached out to the BCRC and was uplifted by her patient navigators, Elaine and Marjorie. She touts her connection with them and their helpful guidance to resources as lightening her load. Danyelle says the most valuable thing she got from BCRC was not feeling alone and the sisterhood she is now a part of, thanks to BCRC! Art Bra® Austin 2021 marks Danyelle’s third time modeling, and she is stoked! She loves showing people her “warrior inside” and inspiring, encouraging, and empowering others. She says if she can be “a conduit, a voice and a champion for BCRC, (she) will shout loud and proud!” She is so grateful for her Art Bra® experiences, as she says it helped her feel that her life and this experience were not in vain.
Age at Diagnosis: 50
Six months following her last mammogram, Nancy felt a small lump in her breast during a self-examination. The lump became more painful, so, relying on her instincts, Nancy followed up with her doctor. She would undergo multiple tests and was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer. Within just a few short weeks, the tumor grew rapidly. With family by her side and a rewarding career as a middle-school social studies teacher, Nancy endured several rounds of chemo (along with its side effects), but she still showed up to work every day. When Nancy was afraid and did not know what to expect next, she found comfort through BCRC. From the “checking-in” calls from patient navigator Marjorie to her fondest memory of the “sex and loving your body after battling breast cancer” meeting, Nancy surrounded herself with people who reminded her she didn’t have to do it alone. BCRC helped ease Nancy away from her comfort zone and onto the Art Bra® stage, where she supports and encourages other women through her own fearlessness
San Juanita Escobar
Age at Diagnosis: 29
San Juanita (SJ) is a Texas Army National Guard staff sergeant and a veteran of 13 years with two tours overseas. She and her husband have two handsome, energetic boys. Diagnosed at 29 years old and just six months postpartum, she didn't hesitate to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. One month after surgery, she won the beauty pageant title of Mrs. Texas Regency International. She uses her platform to bring awareness to the importance of annual checkups because that is what saved her life. Her advice to someone newly diagnosed is, “As scary as it is, you have to pull it together and just start making decisions. Time is everything with this disease. For me, there was absolutely nothing I wouldn’t do to ensure I would see my boys growing up.” SJ says she utilized several of BCRC’s services while in treatment, including having her patient navigator Karyn with her at doctor’s appointments. Processing all the information coming at her was overwhelming, and while her husband was with her every step of the way, having someone there who had been through breast cancer herself made a huge difference.
Age at Diagnosis: 40
Janelle has been a flight attendant for over 20 years and loves to travel. She makes friends with strangers easily, and her fun and adventurous spirit make it easy for her to bring people together. She went in for her first screening mammogram at age 40 and was shocked at what unfolded shortly thereafter. She met Melissa, who became her BCRC patient navigator, at her first biopsy, and thought, “This is sweet, but why don’t they help someone who really needs it?” She now realizes what a huge help Melissa and BCRC were through her entire breast cancer ordeal. She’s a California native but has called Austin home for the last 14 years and is so glad BCRC was nearby when she was diagnosed. Her advice for the newly diagnosed is to get in touch with a patient navigator at BCRC and hop on those message boards – they were an immense source of guidance and comfort for her. Janelle wants to remind patients that “there is light at the end of the tunnel!”
Jan Frazier Clark
Age at Diagnosis: 55
Jan is a home-health physical therapist, but when she’s not helping others, you can find her at the nearest body of water or enjoying live music around Austin with her husband, Bill. She was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time she developed a voracious appetite for reading. She now reads 100+ books a year, every single year. The mother of four is a member of the breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, Paddles with a Purpose. Her advice to newly diagnosed women? “Enjoy the little insignificant moments. Surround yourself with positive people. Ask for help. Imagine yourself on the other side of this. Pray. Trust God. But most importantly, contact BCRC. They provide countless resources, tons of information, and oodles of encouragement during the chaotic time of diagnosis and treatment.” Through Art Bra®, Jan has had her worries and fears validated and has been encouraged and reassured by so many positive, resilient women.
Age at Diagnosis: 28
AnnaMaria moved to Austin with her husband four years ago to change careers. She is a solutions engineer for Hayes Software Systems, which helps school districts across the country manage resources more efficiently. AnnaMaria and her team serve over 8,000 schools, 35 of which are in the 100-largest school districts in the U.S. At age 28, AnnaMaria thought she had everything she could ever want—a great job, an amazing family, and her health. Three months after her birthday, her life turned upside down with her father's passing and, shortly thereafter, her stage four breast cancer diagnosis. Through it all, she is grateful for all the support she’s received from her husband, mom, friends, coworkers, her two puppies, and BCRC: “Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, it seems there are a million obstacles to tackle every minute of every day. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was angry, confused, scared, and overwhelmed. [Patient navigator] Melissa helped guide me through the steps, helped me to understand my power as a patient, and allowed me to cry when I needed to. I would not be as strong as I am going through this if I did not have BCRC’s support.”
Age at Diagnosis: 30
Katie is currently going back to school to become a teacher and school counselor. She loves helping people and encouraging them to be their best selves. She is a two-time cancer survivor from Austin, with most of her family nearby, and says she wouldn’t have it any other way! Katie feels lucky BCRC has been with her through both of her diagnoses, and she is so grateful to her patient navigators Karyn and Elaine, for all their support. One of the biggest things she appreciates about her patient navigators is that they did not try to persuade her to make any particular decisions about treatment. Of BCRC’s navigators, she says, “They listen to you and provide information but allow you to make your own treatment decisions.” She cannot imagine her life without BCRC in it and is determined for Art Bra® Austin 2021 to be a fundraising success. Katie urges everyone to remember that “BCRC has to endure until a cure for breast cancer can be found,” and Art Bra® is a key component to that.
Age at Diagnosis: 30
Breast cancer had affected many of the women in Andrea’s family, so she almost expected it to affect her personally eventually, but she never expected it to happen so soon. Her family's history, no matter the outcome, inspired her to keep fighting as hard as she could. Andrea’s advice to those going through a challenge is to “take some time to focus on something other than the hardship. It might be difficult, and it might suck, but find something that makes you smile after you've taken the time to grieve.” Through all of the services provided by BCRC, Andrea has come to see so many other patients as part of a sisterhood. She appreciates and trusts the unspoken instant bond felt when connecting with another breast cancer survivor, knowing that because of this sisterhood, she always has somewhere to turn when she needs support.
Age at Diagnosis: 46
Originally from Minnesota, Jen moved to Texas in 2014 in search of milder winters and has embraced her inner Texan ever since. She and her husband, Dave, have a son and two daughters. Jen manages a real estate brokerage by day and does the “rock star thing” by night as the lead singer for classic rock band Code Blue and blues band Seventh Sun. She is also a fierce animal lover, especially dogs and horses. Jen believes laughter and humor are the best medicine and can effectively change your outlook on life. Jen is a four-year breast cancer survivor who is grateful to her husband for literally holding her hand through treatment and to her BCRC patient navigator, Elaine Gonzales, for helping her through “panic mode” after she was diagnosed. Says Jen to Elaine: “Thank you for the time you took to calm me down when I first reached out to BCRC in full-on panic mode, and thank you for taking the time to meet with me and reassure me, repeatedly, that everything would be OK during a time when I was paralyzed by fear.” Jen is thrilled to be returning to Art Bra® this year, saying, “The pride that comes from being personally responsible for raising money that will go directly to BCRC clients is indescribable.”
Age at Diagnosis: 37
Emily is a wonderfully talented singer, actor, and dancer. If that weren’t enough, she is also a native Texan! She met her wife, Annie, eight years ago in New York City, where they were both singing in the Stonewall Chorale. Together, they are parents to six-year-old fraternal twin boys and one active pup named Beanie. Emily loves working as a social and emotional learning specialist for AISD and is passionate about race and equity. Before moving to Texas, she worked as a special education teacher in East Harlem, which she adored. She was even featured in Daniel Goleman's book, Focus, for her work in mindfulness with those students. For Emily, it feels as if cancer took so much of her previous self. She did not recognize herself when she looked in the mirror, and her thoughts did not feel like her own. She was interested in modeling in Art Bra® to help uncover parts of her that she’d assumed were gone. If she was going to give advice to someone going through a challenge, she would start by reassuring the person that “This. Is. Not. Your. Fault.” Then, after allowing them to sit with that sentiment, she would say, "I'm right here. This is hard. You are not alone.”
Age at Diagnosis: 48
Kenya has come full circle in her cancer journey. After losing her mother to breast cancer in 2003, she was mentally prepared for the possibility that she could someday hear those words, "You have cancer." That day came in October of 2019 when she received her breast cancer diagnosis. BCRC was one of her first calls; she knew the number well as she had often referred survivors to navigators. However, this time when she called Marjorie, she was calling for herself. Since her mother’s passing, Kenya has immersed herself in working and volunteering in the cancer community. This year will be her first year to model in Art Bra® Austin, and she is so excited to be part of the show! She feels like Art Bra® will allow her to feel beautiful inside and out and is the culmination of her breast cancer journey. Kenya is striving to make Art Bra® a success so she can continue to refer new clients to BCRC.
Age at Diagnosis: 31
“It is OK to not be OK.” That’s the wisdom Eden shares as an 11-year breast cancer survivor. However, she didn’t understand this at the beginning of her journey. She found BCRC only after she was done with treatment, and although she is a starkly independent girl, it was her new BCRC tribe that showed her she wasn’t alone. With her husband and daughter at her side, Eden has dived into the holistic healing techniques that helped during her own treatment and is training to become a meditation teacher. She has learned that the best way to show her gratitude to those who walked alongside her is to pay that kindness forward. Eden has modeled in Art Bra® for several years and has this to say about her experiences: “In a moment where you may feel less of a woman, or you may feel ugly because of scars from surgeries, you are given a chance to be a beautiful runway model. You forget for one night that you are a cancer survivor or thriver going through the hardest times. It is a wonderful escape that you get to share the experience with some of the most beautiful and strongest women you will ever meet.”
Age at Diagnosis: 32
In 2005, Shauna was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. As a young mom with a toddler underfoot, she looked for a community that understood what she was going through. With that in mind, Shauna turned to the Breast Cancer Resource Center and helped co-found the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, Art Bra Austin, and Texas Mamma Jamma Ride. As one of Art Bra Austin's very first models, she is a veteran at walking the runway. Today she walks the runway while fighting her second battle with breast cancer after being re-diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2017. On top of being an advocate for breast cancer survivors, lifers, and thrivers, Shauna is the co-founder of Grable Martin Fulton PLLC and has over 25 years of experience as a corporate lawyer. In 2012, Shauna founded Daily Greens, an organic cold-pressed juice company. For over eight years, Daily Greens was distributed to thousands of retail outlets nationwide. Today, Shauna lives in Austin, Texas, with her son, Cooper, and their chocolate Labrador Retriever, CJ.
Age at Diagnosis: 43
Julie has lived all over the world and was born with a heart defect, so she is no stranger to medical issues and surgeries; however, being diagnosed with breast cancer was not something she thought would ever happen. After helping other families navigate heart surgery, she understood the importance of a helping hand to guide you. Julie feels BCRC helped her on her journey as much as her doctors, and she is now helping others walking the breast cancer journey. This is Julie’s first year modeling in Art Bra® Austin, and she says, “It is paramount that BCRC be able to continue helping and encouraging clients while sustaining and growing their services. In order to do so, Art Bra® Austin needs to be a raving success.” She is looking forward to her modeling experience and cannot wait to fundraise for BCRC! Julie has taught for 20 years, even during her treatment, and has a passion for traveling and reading.
Age at Diagnosis: 38
Olivia has been married to her husband for over 21 years and is the mother of three amazing children. A veteran Art Bra model, speaker, and artist, she is proud to be a legacy model, returning for BCRC’s 25th anniversary. She aspires for Art Bra® Austin to succeed, knowing that as a major fundraiser for BCRC, it means the next person who walks through their doors doesn't have to face breast cancer alone. Olivia’s advice to those facing a challenge is to “Have Faith! God's plans are always greater than ours.” BCRC supported Olivia through a very difficult time and has provided her with a critical support system over the years. To her patient navigator Elaine, she says, “Thank you for sharing your experience with me and reminding me to ‘just breathe.’”
Age at Diagnosis: 42
Ivette was born on the Mexico side of a border town with Texas and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science at UT El Paso. She then lived in Chicago, where she met and married her husband, Jose, before moving with him to Austin. She is the mother of two wonderful daughters, who were only 10 and 8 years old when Ivette was diagnosed with breast cancer. While Ivette was undergoing treatment, her parents provided invaluable family support. Sadly, her father passed not long after Ivette finished cancer treatment. Ivette says the memories from her year of treatment are “sour due to cancer, but at the same time, cherished when thinking about the moments spent with my dad.” Ivette is a program manager with GlobalFoundries and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She is excited to participate in her first-ever Art Bra®, saying, “Through BCRC, I met four ladies who have become good friends, as we were going through treatment at the same time. Two of them are also modeling. We are participating together as some form of ‘closure’ now that we are on ‘the other side' of treatment.”
Age at Diagnosis: 41
Michelle is a nine-year breast cancer survivor and six-year colon cancer survivor. She has a love for travel and a passion for giving back to her community. She has been a lifelong volunteer to those battling cancer, starting long before her own battles. Michelle enjoys experiencing other places and cultures and has a life goal of setting foot on all seven continents, all 50 U.S. states, and as many countries as she can. To date, she has visited four continents, 38 states, and 15 countries. Michelle credits her wanderlust, creativity, and strength to her loving friends and family, especially to her mom, Jessie. Having gone through treatment in San Antonio, Michelle feels lucky to have been connected with BCRC after moving to Austin through a fellow breast cancer survivor. After moving, Michelle was experiencing a time in her life when she had very little confidence and had forgotten who she was. Thanks to hearing the stories of the ladies in her BCRC support circle and lunch group in Round Rock and looking into some of the medical information that her patient navigator Elaine supplied, Michelle, is progressing by learning to have a more positive outlook and realizing that she matters.
Leah Rose Duncan
Age at Diagnosis: 36
Leah was born in San Antonio but raised in Canton, Ohio. After receiving her bachelor's in business administration from Kent State University, she decided it was time to get back to Texas, moving to Austin in 2006. On April 25, 2018, Leah not only turned a year older but also found a lump in her left breast. A week later, she received her breast cancer diagnosis. After carefully handpicking her medical team with her husband, Joel, by her side, Leah underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. She became a powerful advocate of self-examinations, and in 2019 took part in her first Art Bra®. Leah looks forward to a healthy future full of her passions, which include cooking and working out. Her advice to anyone facing their own challenges: “In all the bad, ugly and fearful, there is a purpose. Find It. A positive attitude is half the battle.”
Age at Diagnosis: 35
Adrienne moved to Austin four years ago from the Northeast for a slower pace and better quality of life. She has been deaf since birth, and, once arriving in Austin, the deaf community embraced her and provided her with the access she needed to get to know the city. Just three months after her 35th birthday, Adrienne heard the words, “It’s cancer,” which she would later call “Charlene.” She didn’t ask many questions because she felt the less she knew, the better mentally equipped she would be to fight the disease. The newly minted Texan would ultimately be diagnosed with Stage 3C triple-negative invasive ductal carcinoma. After completing four months of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, 30 rounds of radiation, and six months of oral chemotherapy, Adrienne is looking forward to pursuing passions she was too afraid to try before. And with her newfound confidence, she’s living a more fulfilling life and deeply grateful for the lessons learned from “Charlene.”
Age at Diagnosis: 43
When Debbie was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she had no way of knowing that, 10 years later, it would be “the best worst thing that would ever happen to her.” BCRC—and, specifically, patient navigators Runi and Dianne—came to Debbie’s rescue by connecting her with the medical resources she needed after developing lymphedema. Because of the incredible medical care, she received throughout her journey, Debbie went back to school at 44 to become a registered nurse. Today, the 53-year-old breast cancer survivor is finding ways in her new role as a nurse to give back and help others in their greatest time of need. Debbie’s advice to those recently diagnosed or in the midst of dealing with breast cancer is to “always hold your head up high, ask for help when you truly need it and find an amazing circle of friends and family you can trust to lean on when you’re having a bad day.”
Age at Diagnosis: 44
Originally from New Mexico, Suzanne moved to Texas in 2013 and began her journey with breast cancer in 2018. She worked in marketing and event planning for 20 years before making a career change to the veterinary sciences field. She currently works at an animal hospital, doing what she loves to help those without a voice. In her spare time, she is a Harley-Davidson girl, riding the backroads with her husband, Larry. She also has a side craft business with her sister, Debbie, called Stuff by Us, which feeds her creative heart. 2021 marks Suzanne’s second time to model in Art Bra®. She was inspired to model again because, after completing a difficult year of treatments, her first Art Bra® modeling experience made her feel “pretty and human again.” Of the importance of fundraising for BCRC, Suzanne says, “After all the treatments and procedures, I feel the real battle started for me. I am still struggling to accept the new me and the fear of what the future holds. Art Bra® has given me so much. I love the opportunity to support those women who are where I was and still am.”
Age at Diagnosis: 42
Shauna is a two-year breast cancer survivor who played “Eye of the Tiger” every morning before treatment and went to her appointments wearing pink boxing gloves and bright lipstick: “I put one foot in front of the other every minute of the day. I had cancer, cancer did not have me,” she says. For Shauna, being an Art Bra® model means she gets to help spread awareness and to show others battling the disease that there is light and beauty in the darkness. Shauna is grateful for BCRC, her medical care team, and her family—which includes her husband, three daughters, parents, and sister—for providing their unwavering support while she underwent treatment. To others about to begin their battle with cancer, Shauna says, “It’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. But, wash your face, and get up off the floor when you’re done—you don’t belong down there.” Raising funds for BCRC to help fund patient navigation services is critical, says Shauna, as she knows the tremendous value of BCRC’s services firsthand: “I want to ensure that others continue to have that connection and resource in the community.”
Date of Diagnosis: 37
Rachelle’s ride-or-die pup, Jax, snuggles with her through tough times. While her life wouldn’t be complete with him, her positive outlook also played a major part in her breast cancer recovery. On the heels of celebrating five years of cancer remission, the Huntsville native spent those years, like countless others, grappling with the realities of being a young cancer survivor. Now, Rachelle is seizing every moment and runs straight into every opportunity that comes her way. Rachelle has a degree in computer science and a Master of Business Administration. For the last 20 years, she has worked for the state government, proudly serving her fellow Texans. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and can be found on any given weekend walking the many trails Austin has to offer. Still, most especially, she loves spoiling her niece and nephew at every available opportunity. They bring immense pride and laughter to her life.