Elizabeth Sargent, triple negative breast cancer survivor by the age of 34, is co-founder of Breast Cancer Comfort Site—a virtual wellspring where breast cancer patients and survivors can gain nourishment and guidance through their metamorphosis. Elizabeth is an internationally acclaimed author, real estate developer, former promoter of the World Championship of Snowboarding, certified Yoga instructor and incredibly, a mom. Only one of these came before breast cancer—the snowboard contests.
Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Politics cum laude from Pomona College as well as a Masters with Honors from the University of Denver in Applied Communication – which she calls a Masters in Sales. At the age of 34, Elizabeth thought she was trying to convince her boyfriend, with whom she had spent a year traveling the world, to marry her and get her real estate business off the ground. It turned out she was going to be battling breast cancer, fighting for her life. Her diagnosis of a triple negative tumor combined with 7 cancerous lymph nodes and her young age made her doctors look very serious indeed. But she was herself and would not become a statistic – 60% to 90% chance of death, if you want to know; but it had been a 92% chance of survival with her mom’s breast cancer battle and she ultimately died when Elizabeth was 18.
In the middle of her fight she decided to write a book as well as begin her real estate development career by buying a 1925 apartment building in South Beach that needed to be rebuilt in place. She fought cancer and wrote the book and in this love letter to women she chronicles her “trip down the rabbit hole of her breast cancer treatment” to reaching the medically significant five year survival milestone and learning to fully live consciously. The book, FIVE, was published and praised for sharing “her journey, how she learns to receive life, live above the challenges, and meet fate head on.” Outstanding reviews continue and she has been profiled on WUSA 9 (CBS Affiliate).
And while finishing the building along came Tomy—the super surprise baby she thought the cancer treatment would rob her of. And the boyfriend became husband and the family moved to Costa Rica for the next two real estate development projects. In Costa Rica, Elizabeth was able to pursue her long time dream of spending a month at Yoga teacher training as well as co-write, with her childhood friend and fellow triple negative breast cancer survivor, Melanie A. Nix, You Have Breast Cancer…Now What? Inspiration for Moving Through Breast Cancer Treatment, Planting Some New Roots and Blossoming Again treatment journal. Which really ties in with what she has learned from her journey; it is not that life is too short to live unconsciously – it is too precious.
MELANIE A. NIX
Melanie A. Nix, mutated BRCA1 gene carrier and triple negative breast cancer survivor by the age of 38, is co-founder of the Breast Cancer Comfort Site—a virtual wellspring from which breast cancer patients and survivors can gain nourishment and guidance through their metamorphosis from patient to victor; a breast cancer patient’s online coach and cheerleading squad! She is a member of the ABOUT (American BRCA Outcomes & Utilization of Testing) Network Steering Committee and is a member of the Community Advisory Council for the Capital Breast Care Center. From 2013 – 2015, she was an inaugural member of the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. A fifth generation breast cancer patient, Melanie’s 20+ year health and wellness advocacy began as a founding member of Breast Cancer Resource Committee and SASSi™ (Sisters Accessing Skills for Survival and Intervention). She has completed two American Association for Cancer Research Scientist <-> Survivor Programs for cancer advocates.
A spiritually guided woman, she is eloquent and thoughtful ~ imparting personal experience, knowledge and compassion in her speaking, writing and coaching. Sought after and highly regarded as a passionate and charismatic public speaker, she blends wit, sensitivity and candor into her messages. As a reconstructionist™ who continues to brave the process of rebuilding and healing, she is particularly focused on sharing lessons for preserving moxie and being an indefatigable combatant against devastation and destruction. She is part of the National Cancer Survivors Day® Speakers Bureau Roster.
Her survival story has been the focus of her discussions and profiled by several media outlets including:
- Melanie discusses the spectrum of advocacy in CURE Magazine.
- Featured speaker at 2015 Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer Conference
- Featured speaker at the Auxiliary to the Medico-Chirurgical Society of DC, Inc. Triple Negative Breast Cancer Workshop
- Featured speaker at AACR Annual Meeting 2015 Special Program for High School Students
- Featured speaker at the Young Survival Coalition’s YSC Summit 2015 national conference for young women affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors. View Melanie speaking.
- Joining other survivors and health advocates at President Obama’s announcement of his Precision Medicine Initiative
- The American Association for Cancer Research Foundation website
- WTOP radio guest during national breast cancer awareness month 2014
- Highlighted by her alma mater in VIRGINIA The U.Va. Magazine
- Profiled by her business school in SMITH BUSINESS
- Featured speaker at the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, Inc. 2014 Annual Convention Workshop II: “Women’s Health: My Triple Negative Breast Cancer Story”
- Melanie is a featured cancer survivor in Melanie Nix: Cancer Research Saves Lives, a 30 second commercial produced by the American Association for Cancer Research and airing in National Cancer Research Month 2014 (May 2014). View the video.
- Melanie is profiled in She’s Not a Statistic: Melanie Nix’s Story produced by the American Association for Cancer Research for National Cancer Research Month 2014 that underscores the lifesaving effects of cancer research. View the Video.
- Joining other health advocates and families at Presidential remarks – President Obama Explains How Health Reform Is Helping Women
- Featured speaker at Rally for Medical Research
- American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Progress Report 2012
- Featured speaker at AACR press conference to release the Cancer Progress Report 2012
- Roundtable participant with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and actress and breast cancer advocate Jennifer Aniston
- An African American Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor: Melanie Nix’s Story produced by the National Cancer Institute
- NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
- WUSA 9 (CBS Affiliate)
- African Views Radio
- Honey Magazine
- The Southwester
Her sensitivity and candor are also present in her writings as co-author of You Have Breast Cancer…Now What? Inspiration for Moving Through Breast Cancer Treatment, Planting Some New Roots and Blossoming Again and in her blogs. In 2015, Melanie published Soul of a Survivor, a collection of her poems, mantras and favorite blogs. Other publications include A Long, Long Way from Home in the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, Inc. Newsletter (Fall 2014 – Winter 2015), 6-8 and Get Off the Sidelines and Help Win the War on HBOC (Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer) in the FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) Newsletter (Fall 2014). As a life coach, her core tenet and guiding principle is “coloring” outside of the lines when defining the new “normal”.
Through the lessons she learned from her late mother—Belva B. Brissett—her most inspirational breast cancer role model, she is dedicated to providing hope, inspiration and encouragement to breast cancer patients and survivors. A volunteer with national and local breast cancer advocacy and support organizations, including Friends of Zora Brown, she works to build alliances within the corporate and healthcare community to reduce breast cancer disparities, advance research funding and eradicate breast cancer.
She is the founder and owner of huMAN Expressions™ (helping uplift by Melanie A. Nix), a social stationery and design firm that created the 2009 Mother’s Day card for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and she wants to give the world a huG as the creator of helping uplift Greetings™, the huMAN huGs™ line of greeting cards for breast cancer patients and survivors. Launched in 2002, years prior to her breast cancer diagnosis, she is a pioneer in this space where there had been limited greeting card options addressing breast cancer. She is also a managing partner in Brothers Doing Something apparel and lifestyle brand.
Melanie’s #exercising4mylife social media campaign documents her successful post cancer training and completion of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and 30th Anniversary Army Ten-Miler; she ran both in their entirety without stopping.
Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration, with a Marketing concentration, from the Robert H. Smith School of Business – University of Maryland, College Park. She has also completed leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Prince George’s County (MD) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated. Melanie resides in the Washington, DC area with her cherished family: husband, Raymond; son, Carter; and daughter, Kennedy.