CYB Blog

Saving Lives Through our CYB Breast Cancer Survivors: Welcome to the CYB team Jeanna!

When Jeanna turned 40 she was determined to walk her first Susan G. Komen 60 mile 3day in honor of her Grandmother who passed away from breast cancer.  Within 2 weeks of completing the walk, during a self-exam she found that something didn’t feel “right” in her left breast. At her annual doctor appointment, her doctor felt the lump that she was feeling and sent her right away for a mammogram which was immediately followed by a biopsy. On Halloween, 2012 while in the middle of a 3rd grade class party for one of her sons, she got the call that no one ever wants to get ~ the biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. Luckily it was found early enough for her to be a candidate for a lumpectomy and with her negative BRCA testing and low scoring “oncotype” testing, she escaped the devastation of chemotherapy. She completed 8 weeks of radiation and is now receiving hormone therapy. She has since been very vocal in her local community, especially within her boys’ schools (now ages 10 & 13) sharing how imperative early detection is and urging women to have their mammograms AND to do regular self breast exams. She’s excited and grateful to be a part of CYB, inspired to spread the word about early detection and to empower women with valuable, life-saving information.





date:  Mar 16, 2015 comments:  Comments Off
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

CYB Continues Tradition of Exceptional Campus Ambassadors @ UCLA for the 3rd Year Running!

Meet our the newest additions to our CYB Team. Lauren and Hana, our 2015 UCLA Campus Ambassadors! Lauren and Hana will be representing CYB all over the UCLA Campus this weekend @UCLA at the Breast Cancer Awareness Women’s Basketball Game, Greek Week Games, and the Breast Cancer Awareness Gymnastics Meet! Say “HI” and pick up some awesome CYB Swag!



Lauren Grabowski


Lauren is currently a junior at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she is studying Human Biology and Society with a minor in Public Health.  She is passionate about preventing diseases through interactive health education, promoting healthy lifestyles and having a little fun along the way! Lauren wanted to be involved in Check Your Boobiesbecause she wanted to be part of an organization that embodied passion, enthusiasm and most importantly, hope. Lauren is a firm believer that awareness is key to early detection for breast cancer. With that said, she is excited for the word ‘boobies’ to be in her everyday vocabulary.

hana copy

Hana Murphy


Hana is sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles studying Human Biology and Society and minoring in Geography/Environmental Studies. She hopes to work in the women’s health field in the future. Coming from a family with an extensive history of breast cancer, the disease has always been a mystifying presence in her life. For this reason, she was immediately drawn to Check Your Boobies’ integrative approach to breast cancer awareness that emphasizes female education and empowerment. Hana is so excited to be a part of the Check Your Boobies team and is looking forward to spreading knowledge and awareness on campus!

date:  Feb 19, 2015 comments:  Comments Off
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

February Check Your Boobies Reminder

February is a month full of love.

Remember to show yourself some love and Check Your Boobies this month! Click here to learn more about how to do a proper breast exam.

Links we love this month:

1) The Why? Foundation, check out their brilliant Fighter T!

2) Our 2015 UCLA and UW Ambassadors! Welcome to the team Olivia, Carly, Hana, and Lauren!

3) Atlas Design! Have you seen the brand new CYB Website? Atlas created it all, and CYB has never looked or functioned better!


Interested in hosting a CYB Party? Contact CYB to set one up today!

date:  Feb 01, 2015 comments:  Comments Off
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Meet our 2015 UW Ambassadors: Olivia and Carly!

OliviaBioPic                                            CarlyBioPic

Olivia Counihan          Carly Wolf

Olivia is currently studying Nursing as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. She hopes one day to work as an obstetrics nurse. Olivia heard about Check Your Boobies after her parents attended the annual auction and informed her of its mission. She was immediately intrigued. She has a passion for education and learning. Olivia is excited to help take part with CYB’S ambassador program! When not studying, Olivia enjoys working out, hanging with friends and watching Netflix.

Carly is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington where she is studying Public Health and Nutrition. She first encountered Check Your Boobies through a party hosted by her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Carly is passionate about awareness and advocacy related to women’s health and was inspired by CYB’s mission to help women become actively engaged with monitoring their breast health. As a Student Ambassador with CYB, Carly is excited to help educate women at the University of Washington about the importance of early detection, prevention, and self-advocacy.

date:  Jan 29, 2015 comments:  Comments Off
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Now Hiring: Check Your Boobies Campus Ambassador at The University of Oregon and Stanford University

Join the Check Your Boobies Team as a Campus Ambassador!


  • Minimum One Year Commitment (excludes holidays/summer/winter breaks) January 2015-December 2015
  • 5 hours/week: evening and weekends when necessary
  • 8-10 parties/ semester or quarter
  • Health Fair and campus tablings: one/quarter or two/semester
  • Improve and Expand CYB Social Media Campaigns

Campus Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate parties for local University campuses
  • Reach out to and create relationships with panhellenic, resident halls, women’s groups, pre-med, health clubs and organizations, other student lead university organizations.
  • Table at University fairs (general, volunteer, health) and on campus
  • Familiar with University relations
  • Responsible for College Party Administrative Tasks
  • Distribute CYB reminders cards and swag to University health centers/women’s groups/campus locations

Interns and Ambassadors Management:

  • Weekly check in with Program Manager (skype or phone call)
  • Monthly conference call with PM and other interns/ambassadors
  • Weekly log of hours/activities
  • Create/update shared University contact spreadsheet
  • Add to “other” universities shared contact spreadsheet with all Ambassadors
  • FB group connection
  • Desired personal and professional growth core value of position
  • Positive relationship for both CYB and Ambassador

Job Description: CYB Campus Ambassador

January 2015-December 2015

As a Campus Ambassador at Check Your Boobies, you will network at your respective PAC-12 University. Primary responsibilities will include organizing and coordinating Check Your Boobies events for women in their late teens and early 20’s to educate them on breast health, and the importance of, early detection, screening, and being proactive about their health.

The Check Your Boobies Ambassador should be:

  • A self-starter who is able to work independently
  • Hard worker, able to see projects to completion
  • Passionate about women’s issues/health
  • Interested in learning about the non-profit sector/ fundraising
  • Love the sales process- should have experience navigating the college social system , a proven record as a relationship builder and networker
  • A strong writer with excellent verbal communication skills
  • Able to find humor in most situations

Application Process:

Email resume and cover letter to No phone calls please.

About Check Your Boobies:

CYB is all about putting women into action about their breast health, giving them tools for early detection, prevention and self-advocacy. We give healthy women, from all walks of life, a fun way to learn what they can do to feel more in control and less in fear about breast cancer. We also give breast cancer survivors a place to share the stories that can save lives.

One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lives. This means all women need to be equipped with the information and knowledge necessary to protect their health. CYB is all about giving healthy woman the education and tools for early detection of breast cancer for the best outcomes. Who cares about your health more than you do? No one. This means we must all be self-advocates, making sure we take control over our health. Doctors can downplay risk, miss symptoms, or under-order tests; when a woman takes charge of her health, she can get the care she needs. Self-advocacy around breast health can take several forms: through knowing your breasts and genetics, doing breast self-exams, getting recommended mammograms, and knowing what to ask your doctor. And getting into action about your health reduces fear!

CYB puts on free breast education parties, filled with socializing, laughter, camaraderie and just plain fun. Wherever woman gather, on campuses, houses of worship, workplaces, and mothers’ groups, CYB will bring breast educators and survivors to spread the word about early detection. A non-medical, fear-free, fun environment is the best environment for learning, even about serious topics. The parties are safe spaces created to encourage questions and sharing about breast health. CYB follows up the parties with monthly breast self-check reminders, educational resources on the website, and an engaging and informative blog.

CYB was started by Heike Malakoff, a women who found her cancer in her early 30’s when she was breast feeding her twins. Today cancer-free, Heike is a walking testimonial for the power of early detection and self-advocacy. Early detection can save lives, reduce treatment times and severity and improve outcomes. Breast cancer survivors know this, and want healthy women to have the benefit of their experience. And people learn best through stories, told by those who have walked the journey. That’s why a survivor, in conjunction with a breast health instructor, always tells their story at a CYB party. We give breast cancer survivors a great way to transform the fact of their disease into positive outcomes for other women. Survivors tell the stories that save lives.

date:  Jan 22, 2015 comments:  Comments Off
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Think Before Your Pink: October 2014

Before the Media Mania of Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts a few things CYB would like you to remember!

1. There is no ONE thing that will cure or prevent breast cancer, it is a complicated disease and everyone of us is different.

2. There is no ONE thing that causes breast cancer. In fact the truth is we DON’T KNOW what causes breast cancer – we have lots of theories and know about lots of things that MAY point to the answer but reality is WE DON’T KNOW.

3. There is no miracle pill, vegetable, fruit, meat, bean, grain, exercise, breathing technique or ‘way’ to prevent it.


So what do we do when confronted with all the news and information we get hit with, what do we believe, what do we keep and what do we toss.

If they discover that eating chocolate reduces your risk for breast cancer (my personal dream come true!) then acknowledge that is a great discovery and don’t feel guilty when you eat some chocolate IN MODERATION!!!!

If something is showing promise as a risk reduction or preventative step than find a way to incorporate some of it into your lifestyle – do not forsake all others to replace it with the new found miracle. Chances are in a few years we will learn that it has a bad side to it also.

Just because it increases or decreases your risk for breast cancer does not mean that it is all bad or all good. Birth control pills may increase your risk for breast cancer BUT they also can DECREASE your risk for ovarian cancer.

Question everything!!!!!!!!!!! And take what you hear and see with an acknowledgement that because of all this awareness we now have people working on trying to find answers and find a cure or a preventative answer to this horrible disease.

In the meantime:

Eat lots of vegetables! The more the better.

Get exercise of some kind every day – just move – get up and stretch, walk around your chair, do anything do something! Get that lymphatic system moving!

Moderation and Variety – enjoy life and mix it up a bit!

Everything else is debatable and will be debated for months and years to come. Make the best and healthiest decision you can for you and your family at the time you are making it and then move on.

Here’s to a future without breast cancer – or any cancer for that matter! Until then STAY SMART – STAY INFORMED AND


date:  Oct 01, 2014 comments:  Comments Off
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog, CYB Updates Read More

September Check Your Boobies

Create a relationship with your Boobies TODAY!

Let us ask you a questions. If you were to wake up tomorrow with a dime sized mole, mark, or dimple on your face, would you notice? YES! And why is this? Because you have a relationship with you face. Whether you spend 30 seconds a day looking at it while brushing your teeth, or 30 minutes a day while applying your make-up, you pay attention, and have a relationship.

CYB is asking you to create, maintain, and harvest a relationship with your breasts as well! Know your breasts, know what is normal for you, and if something is new or different, contact your healthcare provider ASAP!

TO find out more information, please visit

date:  Sep 01, 2014 comments:  Comments Off
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What happens after a mastectomy?

Once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, the patient may be informed of a mastectomy and lumpectomy among his/her treatment options. Mastectomy (removal of breasts) is not the only route to remove cancerous cells. Lumpectomy is a procedure that leaves the breast intact, and removes only the tumor or cancerous cells. Radiation therapy may follow both methods to ensure removal of all cancerous cells. According to Dr. Reshma Jagsi’s latest study in the Journal of Clinical Onocology, use of bilateral mastectomy increased from 3% to 18% since the 1990’s. 75% of women who undergo bilateral mastectomy opt to follow up with reconstruction.  These days, breast reconstruction surgery is becoming an increasingly popular procedure for women post-mastectomy. In 1998, an estimated 46% of women who underwent mastectomies (removal of entire breast) chose to have subsequent breast reconstructive surgery. By 2007, this number had increased to 63%.

Breast reconstruction may be done with artificial implants or autologous tissue (skin, fat, muscle) typically from the patient’s back, inner thigh, buttocks, and belly as material for reconstructed breast. This method has become increasingly safer and often provides better cosmetic results since a reconstructed breast from one’s own tissue feels more natural. Successful autologous reconstruction can also last a lifetime, whereas artificial breast implants must be replaced at 10-20 year intervals. However, reconstruction with self-tissue requires more recovery time at the hospital. Other pros to using self-tissue include adaptability to weight changes in the body and better tolerance to radiation therapy. However, autologous tissue reconstruction has been the less preferred method for many women according to Dr. Reshma Jagsi’s latest study on breast reconstruction trends.

She cites multifactorial decision-making process on part of the patient when it comes to breast reconstructive surgery. But there is also a reimbursement disincentive for doctors to perform complex, labor-intensive procedures. Whether or not the latter prevents a large number of women from seeking autologous breast reconstruction has yet to be examined. Interestingly, rates of reconstruction have also varied widely by geographical region. In North Dakota, 18% opted for reconstruction cmopared to 80% in Washington D.C. Are patients appropriately being offered individualized care? Is this a decision driven by the patient’s best interest or the physician’s? Are there even enough physicians in areas where fewer women undergo breast reconstructive procedures? Breast reconstruction surgery can make a huge impact in a woman’s quality of life. In the age of rapidly advancing medical technology and patient advocacy, these are all questions that should be further explored.
date:  Mar 03, 2014 comments:  Comments Off
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Taking Over!

Hello, hello 2014 and reader!

It seems that overnight CYB underwent a mini expansion. We now have four new Campus Ambassadors both at UCLA and University of Washington (my alma mater)! Just this past year we had an explosion of interest in our Campus Program and we are so excited about this continuing growth! Our Ambassadors come from a wide variety of backgrounds but share a common goal: to impact their communities with positive and long-lasting changes in knowledge and behavior.

Mansi Pathak, Michelle Lee, and Mikala Caton are our newest additions to the UCLA program, and Stephanie Rex to the University of Washington! How lucky are we to have them?


    Mansi Pathak                                             Michelle Lee
  Mikala Caton                               
   Mikala Caton                                         Stephanie Rex

Check out my recap of 2013 to get an idea of what Campus Ambassadors do. Interested in joining our team and bringing CYB to your school? View the position requirements below in the description. We are especially currently eye-ing the University of Oregon and Stanford University. Feel free to contact our Program Coordinator, Kayla Driscoll, if you have any questions at

Campus Ambassador Description

Good luck!

date:  Jan 16, 2014 comments:  Comments Off
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Memories of 2013

Hello Everyone!

I’m not ready to say goodbye to 2013 just yet, but the year has surely been nothing short of busy and fun-filled. Let’s recap, shall we?

January: We had 13 CYB Parties! This was also the month that Miss America contestant Allyn Rose spoke up about her decision to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy, to a highly controversial media response.


February: We attended the C4YW Conference in Bellevue, Washington and had over 20 parties! Not bad for a short month ;)

UW Tri Delta

UW Tri Delta

March: We welcomed Chelsea Kaufman, our second UCLA Campus Ambassador! With her help, we attended over 20 parties!

April was the month of celebrating the beautiful lives of two women: Michelle Lowe and the writer of My Big Girl Pants, Bridget Spence. We also commemorated Jennifer through her husband’s heartfelt portrayal of her journey with breast cancer.


May: We kept up the 20+ parties streak and had the biggest party of all- CYB’s Annual Party & Fundraiser! Our friends, old and new, helped us raise over $250,000 dollars to continue educating and empowering women! Hurrah!







June: CYB’s own Emily Kaplan shared her involvement in The Scar Project. Simply awesome.


July: We celebrated America’s birthday with the cutest spangled beach bum:



Our Program Coordinator, Kayla Driscoll, sittin' pretty in the sun at a health fair!

Our Program Coordinator, Kayla Driscoll, sittin’ pretty in the sun at a health fair!

August: Tallied up our parties for the slowest season and counted 15 Bay Area parties!

CYB Family gathering in Seattle!

CYB Family gathering in Seattle!

September: School swung into full gear and we added two new Campus Ambassadors-Asia Adona, to the WSU campus, and Emily Jong, to UC Berkeley! We hopped back onto the 20+ parties train with 25 parties!

CYB Bay Area Director, Mara Berns, rocked her angel wings in the Survivors Circle at a HERS Breast Cancer Foundation event!

CYB Bay Area Director, Mara Berns, rocked her angel wings in the Survivors Circle at a HERS Breast Cancer Foundation event!

October: Predictably, this was our busiest month (major photo drop pending), with parties at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Washington, WSU, Seattle U, private homes, MOPS, health fairs, churches, women’s shelters, and so many more! In fact, more parties than any other month in CYB history. Not to mention, an Instagram contest with our partner, Adore Me.

CYB Instructor, Elizabeth Crouch, puts it perfectly:

“And in the spirit of Frank, Fun and Fearless, I’m closing out October with deep gratitude for CYB and …
1. all the wonderful women (and men) I’ve met this month who are now taking positive health actions
2. the ongoing courage and fierce determination of several friends in cancer treatment .. I love, love, love you!
3. the glowing health of my thriver daughter and her sisters
4. Halloween and cherished friends who send me its festive reminders!”

A glimpse into our favorite month-



UCLA love!

UCLA love!





UW's Unidas Seremos!

UW’s Unidas Seremos!

November: Stomped through LA like it’s our playground and left our mark. Oh, and  a new record for November: 40 parties. On an unrelated note, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fell on the same day. The last time this happened was in 1888.




Women's Action Commission, McMahon Hall and Undergraduate Women in Business

Women’s Action Commission, McMahon Hall and Undergraduate Women in Business

And here we are in December! My what a year 2013 has been! In case you are shopping via Amazon for your loved ones, why not add CYB to your list of favorite organizations before checking out?

CYB Instructor, Kim Schaaf at a Zumbathon!

CYB Instructor, Kim Schaaf at a Zumbathon!

2014 is going to be a fantastic year! Can’t wait to set more records and keep our vision of education and empowerment alive. Thank you for partying with us!

 ***Stay tuned for another partnership announcement in early 2014!

date:  Dec 16, 2013 comments:  Comments Off
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

A Memo on Mammos

    Last month, Amy Robach agreed to undergo her first mammogram in front of millions of viewers, live on the air for Good Morning America’s Pink Day. To the surprise of all, the procedure detected breast cancer. In a short piece for ABC, Robach reveals she had actually been putting off the mammogram for a year, and had reluctantly agreed to do it for the show. “…While everyone who gets cancer is clearly unlucky, I got lucky by catching it early, and there are so many people to thank for making sure I did. Every producer, every person who urged me to do this, changed my trajectory.”

   Sometimes, the challenge is to make the leap in deciding to get the procedure done. Many women see it as inaccessible or unnecessary. Search the web for women’s health topics and you’ll find tons of discussions among women on myths and fears surrounding the mammogram. Some of the reasons I have heard at Check Your Boobies parties included “I’m not at high risk for it because: I’m too young/ I eat right and exercise regularly/ it’s not in my family history.” Or, “I don’t want my boobies squashed”, “It’s too much radiation”, and “I can’t afford it”. Thankfully, these ladies attended a CYB party and left equipped with new knowledge, including eight risk factors for breast cancer.

^^^ Campus party in Boston, MA

   Anyone who has been to a CYB party also knows how to perform a self-breast exam. Oh, you’ve never been? Why not? Fun, frank, fear- and cost-free educational parties for all! And in case you wanted to search for a free or reduced-cost mammogram, I’ve done the hard part for you. Check out this nationwide resource list I compiled last year. Sorry I keep plugging. #sorrynotsorry.

^^^ Yummy treats at a home party!

   I’ve never been through a mammogram personally, but as someone who aspires to be a women’s health care provider one day, I want to help dispel the fallacies and encourage all patients to be proactive and vigilant, because you never know who might be the next Amy.



date:  Nov 11, 2013 comments:  0
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

For all the pink in the world

Happy Wednesday, folks! Long time no post so thanks for checking back. If you follow us on facebook, you’ve probably seen the post on a blogger’s rant on No Bra Day (original post here) and an ABC News cover on fraudulent pink awareness. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s impossible not to notice the pinkwashing in just about every corner of life. From billboards to grocery stores to shopping malls, pink. is. everywhere.

Fighting cancer is a noble cause, but simply purchasing anything stamped with a pink ribbon is not an effective way to raise awareness. Have we seen significant decreases in the incidence of breast cancer? Nope.  How much of the price you paid for a pink can of soup went towards R&D or education about breast cancer? 3.5 cents per can if you buy Campbell’s. Did any of it trickle down at all? Some companies put a cap to how much they donate, which means your individual purchase may not have made a difference. Dansko donated 0% of the proceeds from their pink-ribbon clogs towards breast cancer charity. It is an unfortunate reality that corporations use the symbol of breast cancer to drive up sales and sometimes, purely for profit.

As consumers, let’s put a greater focus on prevention not just through our purchasing power, but through education and action, when it comes to all women’s health issues. As it turns out, October not only stands for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There are many diseases that affect women such as cardiovascular disease and other cancers. And if you must buy pink, consider donating directly or looking into which organizations/researchers receive your money, what portion they receive, and how those dollars will be able to turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic. I’m all about promoting awareness and education. But October’s pink wave should be more than a catchy way to unite people behind a specific cause. Let’s not lose sight of the real issue at hand by trivializing a serious and potentially deadly disease.

So what do you think? Is all the pink awareness getting out of hand? These pups certainly think so.





date:  Oct 23, 2013 comments:  0
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

Spotlight: UC Berkeley Ambassador, Emily!

Hello all! I didn’t want to admit it for the past week but there’s no denying the colder weather at this point. Fall is certainly here. Perk: Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes are back! AND with the start of a new school year, CYB has welcomed another campus ambassador to our campus program: Emily Jong!

Here’s a little self-intro from our UC Berkeley intern herself!

Currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley, I plan to graduate with a major in Public Health. I came across the CYB table at a career fair and was immediately attracted by the opportunity to educate and empower my friends and classmates. Through my work with CYB, I am eager to continue working in the Public Health field. Most recently, I interned at a non-profit in Oakland dedicated to promoting healthier lifestyles through the media. I currently volunteer at UC Berkeley’s student health center and am also a member of the Cal Undergraduate Public Health Coalition. With these established connections I’ve already hit the ground running to coordinate parties and events, as well as forge new, vibrant relationships with other organizations on campus. I’m so excited to work with Check Your Boobies. I can’t wait to start interacting with my peers and increase awareness and empowerment about breast health!

Welcome to CYB, Emily!! We are so excited to have you!



date:  Sep 26, 2013 comments:  0
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20 Questions: Leticia Croft Holguin!

Leticia Croft Holguin is our newest recruit to join the CYB Bay Area chapter! She is such an inspiring woman from whom we can all learn more about breast cancer, and how health can be achieved through empowerment. Find out more about Leticia below!


2.     WHAT IS YOUR FULL TIME JOB?  Partners Mortgage 13 years, Accountant, Payroll Manager

3.     FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP? Always Greet my 3 year old Sam as I am on his schedule most of the time, and then my 10 year old Isaac…My morning always revolves around my children! My Blessings!

4.     FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION? Love Christmas! Tamales, and the look on the children’s faces! I love giving!!!


6.     FAVORITE TV SHOW?  Falling Skys, because this has been designated date night for my 10 years old son and I!!!

7.     IF YOU COULD BE ANYONE (LIVING OR DEAD), WHO WOULD IT BE?  That would be a tie between Mother Teresa and Marilyn Monroe…I am torn between the beauty of giving it all and the beauty of having the power to influence millions…

8.     WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?  Basic Four! Reminds my of my childhood, weekends at my grandmother’s house!

9.     IF YOU COULD SNAP YOUR FINGERS AND APPEAR SOMEWHERE ELSE, WHERE WOULD YOU BE? I wouldn’t go anywhere without my boys, so I would have to have the ability to take them with me, I am thinking Atlantis!

10.   FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST OF THE MOMENT? Pink! She has a song for all of my moods! Real, Raw, and Empowering! Love Pink


12.   LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?  Despicable me 2! Hilariously cute and fun!!!

13.   YOU WIN A MILLION DOLLARS AND GIVE HALF TO A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE. WHICH CHARITY WOULD IT BE AND WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE OTHER HALF? Only one! Joyce Meyer! I love her and she is involved in just about everything in every country! The second half would allow me to live the American Dream and buy a home!!!! White picket fence and all!

14.   ON SATURDAYS, I LIKE TO… Spend time with my family! Go to amusement parks, watch shows, beach, parks, what ever they feel like doing!

15.   BEST DESSERT YOU HAVE EVER HAD? Icing on a cake in Los Gatos has this delicious Banana Carrot cake…Its just like a carrot cake but Banana! Mmmm!!!

16.   WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE? Anything that is unjust, I am all about fairness…

17.   IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Flying! So I can visit family and friends, and do more! As there would be no drive time!!!

18.   WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR LIFETIME? I like to think my biggest achievement is yet to come! But I am very proud that I was blessed with the ability to teach my children how to react in the face of adversity. That I was blessed with the strength and foresight in knowing I was blessed even in my darkness; that there was a huge bright light to come!

19.   WHAT MOTTO/ MANTRA DO YOU LIVE BY?  The Lord with use what was meant to harm me to elevate me…Faith, Faith, and more Faith…

20.   WHY/HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH CYB? I met Mara Langer and Helen Chen when I was the keynote speaker at the 9th Annual Breast Cancer connections conference. CYB has an awesome program with an amazing platform, whose mission is in sync with mine: to save lives through empowerment!

Follow Leticia’s blog, YMoms, here and hear her personal story shared at the Breast Cancer Connections’ Annual Conference here.
date:  Aug 12, 2013 comments:  0
by:  CYB category:  CYB Blog Read More

Get Your Shop On for CYB

Check Your Boobies is dipping our toes in the fashion industry with Etcetera! Last weekend, I met up with Susie Cohen for a sneak peek into the fall collection. And I have to say, you won’t want to miss out on it.

So how does this work exactly? Etcetera holds private shopping events for you and your girlfriends. Imagine yourself surrounded by trendy, staple pieces that can help build your wardrobe. Try on what you fancy, purchase, and from now until August 13th, 10% of the proceeds go to Check Your Boobies! Of course, returns/exchanges are welcome if an item is not what you expected.

^^^ Susie Cohen! Coordinating extraordinaire

I quickly took to the racks and pulled some of my favorite pieces. I fell in love with a particular skirt and kept asking Susie to coordinate it in every way possible, which she did so expertly. I also loved a lot of their sweaters and could even imagine my mom liking them, as well. I think Etcetera is certainly more in her price range (most items are $100+). However, the pieces are super versatile, high quality, and designed with a unique flair.

^^^ Still can't take my eyes off of this sparkly skirt.

^^^ Perfect for the chill that's coming in a couple months. I could totally see myself wearing the slouchy black sweater all winter long.

One thing I especially loved were the leggings! Not the thin kind that should never, but I often see, pass as real pants, but the type that strikes the perfect balance between stretch and structure- here, in Midnight. I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss out on this collection.

Contact Susie at to be in on this/the next trunk show for Etcetera. If you miss out on this one, there will be another in a couple months so get ready to look fabulous and support your favorite non-profit!

Thanks again, Susie, for playing personal stylist and letting me pull everything out of its place!


date:  Aug 08, 2013 comments:  0
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Stressed Applicant… and Breast Cancer?

Okay, so maybe there isn’t a direct correlation in that title but I’ve been swamped in medical school secondary applications and it is all I can think about. Not to worry, I’ll squeeze in a tie somewhere.

So we’ve heard for quite some time now, that the doctors of the future will be selected on a different (more comprehensive) basis than they used to be. We’ve seen these changes being made in the revised MCAT exam that will officially debut in 2015. I was lucky to take a trial version sans writing portion. And I have to say, change doesn’t necessarily mean easier. The holistic approach to applicant selection is also seen with the diminishing number of schools screening primary applications. Or maybe, guaranteed secondary application fees were too good to pass up. The point is, admissions committees are realizing that in order to keep up with the constant diversification of the American population, future doctors need to be equipped with open minds, stronger interpersonal skills, and rich backgrounds of their own.

Pre-application cycle, I was so confident I had something special. Nowadays, after combing through forums and perusing for synonyms to “unique”, I am more confused and lost than ever. Having access to helpful resources like the MSAR has at times, made me even more anxious and paranoid about rejection. An applicant’s chance of matriculation to medical school is roughly <1—5%. Because of course, you would only want the cream of the crop to be treating the one thing we value most, human life. So at this point I’m wondering, am I truly worthy? Do I measure up?

Not to go on some defensive streak, but every activity I’ve been involved with for the last several years has been deliberate and intentional. I don’t think any other age group outside of 18-24 says YOLO more often to justify some silly or outrageous activity. But instead of partaking in the same craziness, I studied, volunteered, and sought out more opportunities to carve out a possible career in medicine. I did it because I enjoy interacting with people, love integrating biology and humanity, and am continually inspired by humans in this line of work. And because I think YOLO sounds stupid. So when I joined Check Your Boobies, I saw something in the works that I knew had potential. I saw promise in its educational component and the intimate, yet casual learning environment offered by a Check Your Boobies party. That’s not something I see everyday in the clinical environment, but it is something I can see myself implementing as a future doctor.

I’ve been with Check Your Boobies for less than a year now but when it came down to selecting 3 meaningful activities out of 15 on my primary application, I knew CYB was one. It was so easy to describe that it had provided me a perspective of how people share knowledge to empower each other. It starts with a small gathering of women and men who open up about a topic that rarely gets discussed beyond the color pink. Then, they tell more of their friends and family what they’ve learned. I witness the outreach grow exponentially. And I get to continually measure this outreach everyday through one of my favorite distractions, social media. ;) My experience has been insightful, to say the least,  into how we deal with medical issues outside of the clinical space.

Whew, just venting on this post has cleared up some of the fog and I feel rejuvenated to tackle another secondary. Trying to stand out in a sea of thousands equally as driven and even smarter is tough. Thank you for bearing with me through this post. Regardless of whether or not I am accepted to a school, I am so proud of my involvement with CYB. I couldn’t have asked for a better internship and look forward to growing with this organization. I’ll check back with a more appropriate post soon! Until then…

 For more on the evolutions taking place with medical school admissions, read Dr. Kozel’s article in the NYT.


date:  Aug 01, 2013 comments:  0
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Intern-esting Summer: Asia Adona

Asia Adona is new to the CYB team, and is ecstatic to be serving as the 2013-2014 Washington State University Ambassador. She is home from WSU this summer beginning her work on outreach and party planning for the 2013-2014 school year. Asia will be returning to Pullman in early August and is very excited to be moving back in to her sorority, Alpha Phi. As Director of Marketing Alpha Phi, Asia will be preparing for the 1,000+ girls expected to go through WSU Greek Recruitment in August. She looks forward to continue reaching out to the Pullman/Spokane community about breast cancer, especially the incoming freshmen, and hopes to have a very successful year with Check Your Boobies!


See you soon for another addition to 20 Questions!

date:  Jul 19, 2013 comments:  0
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20 Questions: Mara Langer


We’re starting a new series of 20 questions so you can get to know more about the CYB family! First up, Mara Langer! Mara heads our Bay Area chapter and is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She resides in San Mateo with her husband David Langer, and their two young children, Malia and Ari.



 ^ ^ ^ Mara, right, at the CYB Annual Party & Fundraiser this past May!


Let’s get started!

1.     ANY NICKNAMES?  Mara B

2.     WHAT IS YOUR FULL TIME JOB?  Three part-time jobs. 

3.     FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP? Embarrassed to admit I check my emails.

4.     FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION?  Shabbat dinner with my family








12.   LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?  Cannot remember it’s been so long!


14.   ON SATURDAYS, I LIKE TO… SLEEP and play with the kids.

15.   BEST DESSERT YOU HAVE EVER HAD? profiteroles

16.   WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE? Adults who don’t wear bike helmets, while riding with their kids (who are wearing helmets)




20. What motto/mantra do you live by?

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

21. WHY CYB? To make a difference in the world…empower and educate others to care for their bodies, trust their instincts and get professional help when needed.


date:  Jul 09, 2013 comments:  0
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Intern-esting Summers: Jennifer


Jennifer is at UCLA this summer taking classes and working for the UCLA New Student and Transition Programs where she provides academic counseling for incoming freshman at their orientation and advises families to ease the transition of the student into the university.  In addition, she is volunteering as a camp counselor at Camp Ronald McDonald, a camp for children struggling with cancer.  After a year with Check Your Boobies, she decided to volunteer for the UCLA Athena Breast Health Program in Santa Monica and looks forward to continue reaching out to the community about breast cancer, hoping to have an even more successful year with Check Your Boobies.

Keep checking back for more updates on our interns and staff coming soon!

date:  Jul 02, 2013 comments:  0
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Here’s to another year of Checking Boobies!

We had our 8th Annual Party & Fundraiser last month at Fremont Studios. What a crazy fun night! It’s been said, but we couldn’t have asked for a better crowd and sponsors to be supporting our cause. And of course, the hardworking crew of  board members, staff, and volunteers who put it all together!  Here are some snapshots from the evening as we hoorahed and danced into the wee hours. We’ll be talking about this all year…until the next one!

^^John Curley looking spiffy in pink!

^^Some of the fabulous attendees


^^ Our very own Emily Kaplan as the keynote speaker. She is one amazing gal.

^^ The cutest raffle ticketeers!


^^ Love from the Bay Area! :)

 Such a memorable event. We look forward to hosting it again next year!


date:  Jun 21, 2013 comments:  0
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For The Love of Boobies

There’s no denying that the first thing to catch anyone’s attention about this little organization is the name. Excuse me, you want me to check my what? Nowadays, I say boobies so often that it doesn’t even phase the people close to me. But in a place where I might be representing CYB, I still get the occasional eyebrow raise. Most of the time, followed by an amused giggle or smile.

So when I saw articles about kids suspended from school for wearing “I (heart) boobies” bracelets (breast cancer related) in many parts of this country, I had to rethink this word that’s become so ingrained in my everyday vocabulary. I get that it may ring as boldly inappropriate or embarrassing to some. To me, pre-internship and today, it is perfectly cool and catchy. As for the suspended students, the federal court has ruled “boobies” to be okay, as long as it is used in the legitimate context of breast cancer awareness. Score.

But still, why “Check Your Boobies?” Well, the first aim is the catch your attention. The second is to let you know that it’s okay to talk about the boobies. Third, is to talk about them in a way that doesn’t bring shame or fear. That would be a CYB party foul. And we are so thankful for the public that welcomes this attitude and shares our motto.

Exactly one month from today, we’ll be celebrating at our annual fundraiser, CYB’s achievements with hundreds of guests giving in the name of future Check Your Boobies parties. We hope to see you there!

^Some of last year’s fabulous attendees

The articles mentioned above can be found here, here, and here.




date:  Apr 18, 2013 comments:  0
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Spotlight: University of Washington Campus Ambassador

It’s about time we highlighted our University of Washington rep. She was my first fellow Intern and I was so happy to share duties and ideas with her on CYB work. Since her picture and bio went up on the Team Page (hyperlink), we’ve been able to work together at conferences, brainstorm ideas for on campus activities, and learn tons about breast health. Meet: Christine Hagstrom!

She’s become a pro at navigating the countless student groups here and has been an integral part of our CYB On Campus program. Thanks for being a CYB superstar!


date:  Mar 28, 2013 comments:  0
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Spotlight: UCLA Campus Ambassador (Chelsea)

The old adage, “Two heads are better than one” became clear to us when we picked two ladies to represent Check Your Boobies on the UCLA Campus- Jennifer (Hyperlink to Jennifer post) and Chelsea Kaufman! Chelsea has been with us for about two months and we are so thankful to have her. Her bubbly personality and hard work have helped score several Check Your Boobies Parties on campus already with many more to come!

She embodies the CYB motto to be strong and proactive about one’s health. Check Your Boobies is so thrilled to have her on the team!

date:  Mar 20, 2013 comments:  0
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Spotlight: UCLA Campus Ambassador (Jennifer)

Jennifer Luong is one of our two Campus Ambassadors at UCLA. She is a girl who gets things done! Jennifer is involved with numerous organizations at school, works in a research lab, and studies Biochemistry and Neuroscience. Seriously, she’s kind of awe-inspiring. Her engaging personality and strong work ethic proved that she would be an asset to CYB.

We are certain that her work with Check Your Boobies is going to be part of a bright future for her. Thanks for joining CYB and keep up the awesome work, girl!

date:  Mar 14, 2013 comments:  0
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Spotlight: UC Berkeley Campus Ambassador

We are thrilled to have expanded into the Bay Area recently and even more excited to be present on the area’s college campuses. Our newest intern, Katie Vaughan, is a student at UC Berkeley and we are so lucky to have her on our team. Check out her bio on our Team Page.

We are confident that Katie will do amazing work with us and we can’t wait to share with you all about it!

Welcome to CYB, Katie!

date:  Mar 12, 2013 comments:  0
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Be Your Own Advocate

There’s been a study going around proposing younger women’s risk for breast cancer has been on the rise since the 1970’s. The study findings are worrisome, but don’t let them completely scare you. Keep in mind that there are many other ways to support how misleading it is. While the incidence rate for women ages 25 to 34 has statistically gone up, this may simply be owed to improved study measures, research pursuits recently targeting this group, and many other factors. One should also take note that the actual number of women under 40 diagnosed with cancer is about 800. Most importantly, early detection is the key to survivability and treatment. Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much insight as to the cause of the observed increase in the study. You can find it in the latest issue of JAMA (Journal of Medical Association), NPR, and Seattle Times.

This brings me back to a CYB Party I went to a couple nights ago at a local women’s shelter. There, our breast health instructor Elizabeth said, “Don’t ever, ever hesitate to speak up for yourself. If you do the self breast exams regularly, you’ll know when something is not normal. Always take the very best care of yourself”, which is pretty much in line with what Alison Henning, the woman who inspired the study, had to say on the matter. I realize how important being proactive of my own health is, especially when I look back on recent doctor appointments and remember that I’m given something of a brush on the breasts rather than full clinical breast exam. I also felt a bit glanced over when only a handful of the hundreds of free/reduced cost mammography programs I compiled for a national resource list, offered these services to women my age. So what can you do? Be your own advocate.

Educate yourself.
Know your breasts.
Listen to your body.
Trust your intuition.
Act on it.

Check Your Boobies can send you monthly reminders via e-mail or text message! Sign up for reminders here! And with that, we end the second month of 2013. I don’t know why I’m counting but it seems that time is flying way too fast not to.


date:  Feb 28, 2013 comments:  0
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A Month of Love

Have you seen our Facebook page lately? It’s been blowing up with new likes and fun pictures from recent parties! Our new intern, Christine, was our 1400th like, yay! As for twitter, well, I’m still figuring that little birdy out. We want to know what you think of Check Your Boobies! Show us some love here and @CheckYourBoobie on Twitter!

UCLA Gamma Phi Betas doing the standard CYB pose!

I’m still pouting over the fact that I won’t be able to visit Philadelphia and New York later this month to visit my sweetheart. We’ve had this trip planned for nearly 6 months and it all crumbled this past week. It’s okay, though. He’s coming to visit me in Seattle (again)!


It would’ve been cool to see this iconic sign in all the romantic glory of this month. Instead, on Valentine’s Day, I’ll be focusing on landing a job and making sure everyone I know is checking their boobies! And perhaps get myself a little gift just because.

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!


date:  Feb 13, 2013 comments:  0
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Anyone else get reminded of candy grams from high school whenever you hear this word? Or at least, this moment from Mean Girls?

If you are expecting to have your first mammogram this year and don’t know what’s coming, check out the Swedish Breast Center’s What to Expect guidelines. They also have a mobile mammography van! How cool is that?

Washington State provides the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Cancer Services, which includes free or low-cost mammograms to eligible residents! For real, check it out here- And sit tight for our mammogram service provider list coming soon!

And in between mammograms or whenever, you already know, Check Your Boobies!


date:  Jan 31, 2013 comments:  0
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Happy New Year! 2012 was a fantastic year for me:

I graduated! After 5 years of freedom to be confused about what to do with my life.

Decided I want to go to school some more. Wish me luck.

Joined Check Your Boobies!

Appreciated the value of patience in the best and worst times.

Realized the difference between this patience and patients.

Had In N Out for the first time. Overhyped, but delicious. I think it’s the crispy-edged bun.

I spent the last week of 2012 in the Bay Area and had quite possibly the best winter break ever. Why are you so amazing, San Francisco?

May 2013 be the year you act on your dreams, form new relationships, and start checking your boobies. These monthly reminders are pretty handy.


Cheers to 2013!


date:  Jan 02, 2013 comments:  0
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Here We Go!

Newcomer, regular, random visitor, welcome to the Check Your Boobies blog! With a new year right around the corner, we’ve put regular blog maintenance onto the resolution list. I’m Connie- CYB Intern and not completely new to blogging. Desperation to escape the wrath of final exams was once temporarily subdued by channeling Molly Wizenberg (food blog writer). True story.

This is not one of those attempts. Here, I just want to update you with the latest on CYB activities and to remind you to Check Your Boobies. Yes, squeeze away! And here’s one reason why. Hint: it prevents something that rhymes with crest dancer.

Happy Holidays!



date:  Dec 20, 2012 comments:  0
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Annual Fundraiser

Our annual fundraiser is just around the corner. A majority of the funding for Check Your Boobies comes from you through our annual Check Your Boobies Fundraiser Party. It’s FUN and a great way to support our mission – to raise money to educate more women to be proactive about their health. Please join us Friday, June 1 at 6:30 at Fremont Studios.  Tickets are $150 and you can register here.

date:  May 08, 2012 comments:  0
by:  admin category:  CYB Blog Read More

Welcome to CYB!

I’m excited to start the Check Your Boobies blog. We have big plans for this space. You can check back here for the latest information on breast cancer research, stories from our parties, upcoming events and much more.

Please tell your friends about Check Your Boobies, host a party and spread the word. Together we can make a difference.


date:  May 01, 2012 comments:  0
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