My name is Danielle Hicken. I am a pediatric occupational therapist, lover of holistic health, and positive for the BRCA1 mutation.
My mom was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer when I was only 7 years old. I remember her having a “no-mo chemo” party, followed by a 2nd diagnosis two years later. She truly turned her struggle into strength – not only did she write a book, but she also created The Donna Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides economic assistance and emotional support to individuals living with breast cancer. Her foundation has also funded groundbreaking breast cancer research through the Mayo Clinic.
In 2008, she started the National Breast Cancer Marathon – and unfortunately received her third diagnosis. At the time I was a freshman in high school, and I better understood the severity of the situation. I am happy to say my mother beat cancer for a third time and is living cancer-free today. We just had the 13th annual marathon in February!
My mom wasn’t unhealthy before (she was running marathons), but after the third diagnosis she completely changed her diet, her mindset, and learned how to better manage her stress. In turn, this has inspired me to reap the positive benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. I’m currently working toward a health coaching certificate, with the goal of one day helping women who are at-risk, battling cancer, and survivors to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.